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Don’t Believe These Myths About Stroke

Don’t Believe These Myths About Stroke

Often referred to as a “brain attack”, stroke is a medical emergency caused by a disruption in the blood supply to the brain. In spite of being a well-known and critical health condition, there are several myths surrounding strokes. These myths are potentially dangerous as they can cause misconceptions about the condition and can lead patients and family to opt for the wrong line of treatment. 

This blog post aims to dispel some of the most common myths about stroke, promote awareness about the condition, and encourage a more proactive approach to health and lifestyle. This can help build a better-informed society, and even reduce post-stroke complications and improve overall health.

What is a Stroke?

Also called a cerebrovascular accident, a Stroke is a type of brain damage caused by an interruption in its blood flow. It occurs when the blood supply to a part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing the brain tissues from getting oxygen and nutrients. When this happens, the brain cells begin to die.

There are two main types of Stroke.

Ischemic Stroke occurs when a vessel conveying blood to the brain develops a clot.

Hemorrhagic Stroke occurs due to a leaking blood vessel in the brain. 

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or a “mini stroke” is a brief episode of impaired blood flow to the brain. It causes temporary neurological symptoms. It typically resolves spontaneously, usually within minutes to hours. However, it is a warning sign that a more serious stroke may be imminent. 

Stroke was first recognised over 2,400 years ago by Hippocrates. It was called apoplexy at that time which meant ‘struck down by violence’ in Greek. In those times, doctors didn’t have much understanding of the brain and its function, even the cause of stroke and how to treat it.

Many misconceptions surround this medical condition. So, let’s bust them one by one.

Myth 1: Only elders get a stroke

Age doesn’t play a factor when it comes to a stroke. While it is true that the risk of stroke increases with age, strokes can affect individuals of any age, including young adults and even children. The factors that contribute to it are excessive drinking, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and family history. So, it is very important to stay educated and maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid not just a stroke but any other disease for that matter.

Myth 2: A stroke is extremely painful

A stroke might not show any symptoms, at times, it can be silent. Some of the symptoms that indicate a stroke are difficulty in speaking or comprehending, weakness, paralysis in the face, arm, or leg, blurred or double vision, dizziness, and loss of balance and coordination. Few painful symptoms of a stroke are sudden, severe headaches that result in vomiting or loss of consciousness.

Myth 3: Immediate treatment is unnecessary for stroke

In case of a stroke, immediate medical attention is very crucial. Quick medical attention on the onset of the symptoms will increase the chances of stroke recovery. Within 3 hours of the symptoms, it is mandatory to provide thrombolytic therapy that involves giving medication that dissolves the blood clots.

Myth 4: Occurrence of a stroke is rare

According to research, it is the second leading cause of death worldwide. The cases of stroke have increased quite alarmingly in India — more than 100% which is a very serious problem.

Myth 5: It’s not easy to detect a stroke

A stroke can happen to a person at any time. A simple test called BE FAST (Balance, Eyes, Face, Arm, Speech, Terrible headache) can be used to detect the onset of a stroke. Once the signs are identified, the next action is supposed to be immediate medical care. This will help in reducing any damage to the brain.

Myth 6: The heart is affected due to stroke

This is one of the most common misconceptions. A stroke is caused when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted. This happens when a clot escapes the heart and travels to the brain where it blocks the artery.

Myth 7: You can’t prevent a stroke

Yes, you can. All you need to do is maintain an active lifestyle and reduce bad habits like excessive drinking, smoking, and binge eating unhealthy food.

Myth 8: Stroke is not hereditary

Genetic factors do play a role in high BP, stroke, and other related conditions. A family history of stroke is likely to share common environments and other factors that increase their risk of stroke.

Myth 9: You can recover from stroke quickly

No, that’s not true. Stroke recovery takes time, depending on the type and severity of the stroke. Even if the treatment makes it better, that doesn’t mean you are completely out of risk. It is important for people who have suffered from stroke to control the risk factors that induced the stroke because it tends to come back into your life.

Myth 10: Mini strokes don’t need any treatment

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), may come all of a sudden and exit quickly as well. But symptoms of TIA are similar to a stroke which means there will be numbness on one side of the body, vision problems, or slurred speech, but they will go away within 24 hours. Just because it goes away quickly doesn’t mean that the treatment needs to be ignored. An unattended TIA can result in a stroke.

Myth 11: Strokes are always fatal

No, strokes are not always fatal. With advancements in medical care and rehabilitation techniques, many stroke survivors can recover and lead fulfilling lives. For a positive outcome though, immediate and appropriate medical attention is a must. 

Myth 12: Strokes only occur in the brain

While ischemic strokes, caused by a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the brain, are the most common type, hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel ruptures, leading to bleeding within or around the brain. Both have severe consequences, and require immediate medical attention.

Myth 13: Strokes only happen to unhealthy individuals

While certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor dietary habits, can increase the risk of strokes, they are not the sole contributors. Strokes can also occur in individuals who appear otherwise healthy. Genetics, pre-existing medical conditions, and even stress can play a significant role in stroke occurrence. 

Myth 16: Strokes can be cured with home remedies

Some people believe that strokes can be effectively treated with home remedies or alternative therapies alone. This is not true. A balanced lifestyle can contribute towards lowering the risk of a stroke. However, if a stroke has occurred, the individual needs IMMEDIATE and PROPER medical attention to prevent further damage.

Stroke Clinic at Plexus

A stroke can result in some critical damages to the human body. Plexus’ Stroke Clinic can help take care of the aftermath and prevent further post-stroke complications with the following therapies:

Stem Cell Therapy — A non-surgical procedure wherein stem cells are injected into the patient’s body to replace the damaged cells.

Physiotherapy — A treatment that improves the patient’s mobility, posture, and balance.

Occupational Therapy — This allows the patient to become independent by improving their capability to complete daily activities such as walking, having a meal, or taking a bath.

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy – This involves structured interventions to improve memory, attention, problem-solving, and executive functions.

Speech Therapy — This helps the patient regain their communication skills through various techniques including non-verbal communication.

These treatments are vital for a stroke patient’s recovery and help them get on the road to a happy and healed life.

If you wish to know more about Plexus’ Stroke Clinic and stroke rehabilitation programs, please reach out to our teams in Bangalore or Hyderabad today.

WhatsApp +91 89048 42087

Call +91 78159 64668 (Hyderabad) | +91 82299 99888 (Bangalore)


What are the 3 types of strokes?

The three main types of strokes are Ischemic, caused by a blockage in the blood vessels; Hemorrhagic, resulting from a blood vessel rupture; and Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), a temporary disruption in blood flow. TIA is often considered a warning sign.

Can stroke be cured?

No, strokes cannot be cured but early medical intervention and rehabilitation can greatly improve outcomes. Immediate and appropriate treatment can minimise further damage.

What happens after a stroke?

After a stroke, individuals may experience varying degrees of physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges, necessitating rehabilitation, therapy, and lifestyle adjustments. Read more post-stroke complications.

What is the main cause of stroke?

The main cause of strokes is disrupted blood flow to the brain, which is caused by a blockage or bleeding.

How to avoid strokes?

You cannot avoid a stroke. However, you can reduce the risk of one occurring by adopting a healthy lifestyle. This involves regular medical check-ups, exercise, stress management, maintaining a balanced diet, monitoring blood pressure, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. 

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