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“World Stroke Day” – discussing pollution issues

Today is World Stroke Day and also November and Diwali are almost here. And the Pollution Demon is ready to hit us hard this year again. It’s already impossible to breathe properly in the smoggy conditions and people are have started having asthma and other respiratory problems. And Stroke is one of the major problems.

The relation between poor air quality and pulmonary disease such as asthma, COPD is well documented and understood. However, most people don’t realize that breathing in the low-quality air can cause a stroke. Stroke is a medical condition in which brain cells die due to the reduced blood supply. A stroke can be caused by blockage or rupture of the blood vessels supplying the brain.

Dr. Gaurav Thukral, COO HealthCare at Home said, “Lack of awareness is a major cause of high DALYs in India. People are unaware of the linkage of stroke with air pollution and often do not take the necessary steps to avoid it. Even after stroke attacks, people underestimate the importance of rehabilitation, which can be the key to complete recovery and low DALYs”.

Prevention is better than cure is a cliché that holds true today. With the new information coming out every day, it is important the people adapt themselves accordingly. Using masks while outdoors and using air purifiers at home is the solution for people living in cities with moderate to high pollution. Indoor plants that reduce the pollution also come handy to breathe fresh air indoors.

Dr. Manreet Kahlon, COO IVH Senior Care said, “Respiratory conditions are often linked to air pollution, however, in the past decade or so evidence has emerged to link the air pollution to cardiovascular disease. The incidence of stroke is highest among low to medium income group countries because of high pollution on account of industrialization. The importance of condition can be understood by the fact that air pollution qualifies to the top 5 list of risk factor associated with death in India.”

With a continuous rise in the stroke patients, there is continuous development of technology around its treatment. When stroke strikes, there is a very small window of complete recovery. Early interventions often yield complete recovery. Therefore, it is very important to recognize the early signs, which include an uneven smile, arm numbness and weakness, and slurred speech.

Vivek Tiwari, CEO Medikabazar said, “In the past, diagnosis and treatment of stroke were challenging. However, with the advancement in the medical technology and devices, the treatment is possible even in a small town. Advanced CT scan and MRI machines have helped in reaching the diagnosis promptly and advancement in procedures like balloon angiography has made it possible to prevent and treat stroke. The procedure is safer than open surgery and offers better success rates.”

Sadly, despite the medical advancements, stroke has remained one of the leading causes of disability-adjusted life years. Conversely, Around 85% of stroke cases occur in low to middle-income group companies, which attributes to high DALYs and deaths.


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