We already know how important oxygen is to your whole body, but just how important is it? It's a fact that your brain only accounts for 3% of your body mass, but it uses about 20% of the oxygen you bring through your bloodstream. It needs to be able to do many things, so naturally, it needs plenty of oxygen. It's very appropriate to call oxygen “brain fuel”.
When you are focusing on something, such as work or activities like reading or driving, your brain uses even more oxygen at one time. It makes you want to breathe much deeper – maybe it will help you figure out your budget for the coming month?
If you or a loved has suffered a stroke, you've come to realize just how precious oxygen is to the brain. There are two types of strokes – ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. During an ischemic stroke, part of the blood supply to your brain has been blocked off.
During a hemorrhagic stroke, a blood vessel in your brain bursts. Hemorrhagic strokes are more deadly, where ischemic strokes are more common but have the potential of causing significant brain damage. If brain cells are damaged, certain parts of your body might not be able to function properly, since the brain controls the rest of your body.
This is why it's so important to pay attention and catch a stroke in the very early stages. After just 4 minutes without oxygen, your brain cells start to take damage and can begin to die. Some damage can only be temporary, but depending on the severity of the stroke, brain damage can be permanent.
What are the signs of a stroke?
You might feel dizzy, or have trouble speaking or understanding simple things. These are only two of the early warning signs of a stroke, which also include a severe and sudden headache, blurred vision, difficulty swallowing, confusion and numbness in your face, arm or leg. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, you should waste no time in calling 911 or have someone take you straight to an emergency care facility.
If you've already had a stroke and some of your brain cells have been damaged “beyond repair”, there is a chance you can have them restored with oxygen therapy. An Israeli study has found that patients, who had still suffered brain damage years after having a stroke, were able to recover a significant amount of their brain function after using hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
If you've suffered a stroke and brain cell damage, you might want to discuss these findings with your doctor to see if the use of oxygen therapy can help you. You will need a prescription from your doctor before buying an oxygen concentrator or any other oxygen equipment. Your doctor will also set the proper flow of oxygen on the machine and help direct you in using it. The sooner you start using oxygen therapy, the better your chance of restoring brain function after a stroke.