Stroke: The noisy symptom that may ‘precede’ the deadly condition – ‘strong association’
Samantha Markle gives an update on her father after stroke
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Blood flow delivers vital oxygen to the organs, so when the supply is cut off the consequences tend to be major. Stroke is an injury that follows a blockage in the artery leading to the brain. This causes confusion, numbness in the extremities and an impending sense of doom. Sometimes the brain attack is preceded by tinnitus, one study has found.
The NHS explains: “Tinnitus is the name for hearing noises that are not caused by sounds coming from the outside world.
“It’s common and not usually a sign of anything serious. It might get better by itself and there are treatments that can help.”
Tinnitus occurs in association with a number of other conditions, such as hypertension, sleep disturbances and alcohol consumption.
Few studies, however, have explored the potential link between tinnitus and a higher of stroke.
In 2017, a study published in the journal PLOS One concluded that “tinnitus could be a novel risk factor or clinical indicator for you ischemic stroke […]”.
They explained elsewhere in their report: “Previous studies have reported a strong association between tinnitus and young stroke.
“Tinnitus could precede the occurrence of stroke not only as an intermediate role in the association between vascular disease and stroke but also as an independent risk factor for stroke.”
They hypothesised several mechanisms underpinning this potential association.
One thing they picked up on was that stroke and tinnitus share several pathophysiologic mechanisms.
- Arterial stiffening
- Oxidative stress
- Neural Inflammation
- Poor sleep
- Increased sympathetic activity.
It was also suggested that tinnitus may occur as a result of interrupted or restricted blood flow to a patient’s ear.
While the study was one of few to make a connection between the conditions, the scientist explained further research was warranted.
Other stroke symptoms
Symptoms of stroke vary widely depending on what part of the brain is affected and may be more severe for some patients than others.
The most common symptoms of a stroke are arm weakness, difficulty speaking and facial drooping, which should prompt rapid reaction.
According to Cardiac Screen: “Some people will experience symptoms such as headache, numbness or tingling several days before they have a […] stroke.
“One study found that 43 percent of stroke patients experience mini-stroke symptoms up to a week before they had a major stroke.”
A mini-stroke is medically known as a transient ischemic attack; a short episode of stroke-like symptoms rarely lasts more than an hour.
Due to the brevity of these episodes, symptoms are sometimes written off as fatigue or as signs of ailments.
Receiving appropriate treatment for TIA, however, can help significantly reduce the risk of stroke, so symptoms should never be brushed off flippantly.
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