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Spot the lesser-known signs of a stroke

A stroke is the disruption of blood flow to an area of the brain. As a result of the loss of blood supply, the area of the brain supplied by that artery dies. The actual signs of the stroke are dependent upon the actual blood vessel that is affected.

But do you know the signs of a stroke that only a few people are aware of? Here are some of the lesser-known strokes.

1. Persistent hiccups

Hiccups are generally nothing more than an annoyance, but if you have persistent hiccups for more than 48 hours, you should seek urgent medical help. "Hiccups that are severe and nonstop can be a sign of a stroke," warns Dr. Rachel Ward, a GP in the UK.

"This occurs when the blood supply to a posterior part of the brain and brain stem is affected by a clot. It should never be ignored."

2. Severe headache

Severe headaches may be associated with a stroke due to an increase in pressure inside your head. There are three main types of stroke - ischaemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischaemic, which is classified as a 'mini stroke'.

"A severe headache may be due to bleeding into the brain in a hemorrhagic stroke or swelling of the brain after an ischaemic stroke," says Dr. Ward.

3. Clumsiness

If experiencing a stroke, you may fall or suddenly become very clumsy. "This symptom occurs in a stroke because your coordination and the balance centres in your brain are being affected.

If you experience a sudden change in coordination of movements and/or balance, get medical advice fast," says Dr. Ward.

4. Nausea and dizziness

"Nausea and dizziness can occur when a stroke affects the cerebellum area at the back of the brain," says Dr Ward. "Nausea and dizziness can accompany other stroke symptoms and can also be caused by the increase in pressure in the head. Be concerned if you have severe dizziness/vertigo and nausea that is new and that you haven't had before."

5. Blurred vision

"If parts of your brain that the optic nerves pass through are affected by stroke, your vision will change," says Dr Ward.

"You may experience missing parts in your vision, blurring, or you may not even be aware of a change until your vision is tested."

6. Passing out

Loss of consciousness should always be treated seriously. But "if you lose consciousness due to a stroke, it can signify a very serious outcome," she says.

Apart from this, there is 1 more lesser-known thing which is "white coat hypertension".

What is "white coat hypertension"?

White coat hypertension is characterised by shooting up blood pressure and/or heart rate when in a hospital, because of the nervousness of being in front of a doctor.

For a recent experiment, 18 people with hypertension were monitored using blood pressure measurements, in the presence and absence of a doctor. It came as no surprise that when a doctor was present, the blood pressure and heart rates were higher.

Experts recommend measuring BP thrice and then taking an average of those readings.


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