By Dr. Shirish M Hastak
Are you aware? Wake-up strokes (WUS) are strokes wherein the exact time of onset of the stroke is not known and the symptoms are noted on awakening by the patients. A Stroke is devastating May lead to death and disability. It is the need of the hour to identify the stroke promptly after waking up and make sure that your loved one is treated without any further delay. Here, we explain to you about wake-up strokes, the symptoms, and the treatment.
A stroke happens when there is reduced blood flow to the brain. It is the leading cause of death not only in India but all over the world. Not only this, but the patients can also suffer from life-long crippling disabilities. You will be shocked to know that 25% of strokes occur during sleep. Wake-up strokes are similar to other strokes; however, they are more disabling as the treatment can be delayed while one is asleep. Thus, that person will wake up with the symptoms of a stroke. Though the person may seem normal while he/she sleeps upon waking up they can experience stroke symptoms.
The symptoms: Speech difficulties, inability to move the body while in bed, headache, dizziness, arm and leg weakness, and confusion are some of the signs that indicate stroke during sleep. However, the other signs are poor vision, urinary incontinence, and confusion.
The factors such as diabetes, heart disease, age, smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, stress, pregnancy, a lack of physical activity, and even sleep disorders can lead to a stroke. Various studies have proven that there is a link between obstructive sleep apnoea and stroke. Snoring can lead to Sleep apnoea which further raises the risk of stroke because of drop in the oxygen levels combined with high blood pressure.
The diagnosis: An MRI or a CT scan can help with a stroke diagnosis. The doctor will determine the line of treatment for you after the diagnosis is confirmed.
The treatment: Thrombolysis, Thrombectomy, Antithrombotic or even surgery can be recommended to the patient followed by speech and physiotherapy. The patient and his family members will also be counselled regarding stroke management. It will be imperative for stroke patients to go for regular check-ups and follow-ups with the doctor to know about their health status post-stroke and prevent various complications arising due to the condition.
(The author is a Regional Director, Neurology, Stroke & Neurocritical Care, Global Hospitals, Parel Mumbai. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication and/or remedy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)