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7 Stroke Symptoms & Stroke Prevention

7 Stroke Symptoms & Stroke Prevention

In the United States, every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke and unfortunately, someone dies of a stroke every 3.5 minutes. It is the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability. In the event of a stroke remember to BE FAST! Responding quickly can save lives.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when there is disruption of blood flow to a part of the brain. Without blood flow, there is lack of oxygen and energy for the brain therefore resulting in injury and potentially death of brain tissues. Stroke causes rapid onset of symptoms and suddenly changes people’s lives. Stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability as well.

Stroke Symptoms

It’s important to learn stroke warning signs and how to respond to them.

Stroke symptoms vary depending on the part of the brain that is affected. Stroke symptoms are often referred to as a “brain attack”.

  • Sudden loss of balance or inability to walk
  • Blurry or loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Facial drooping or unevenness of the face
  • Arm weakness
  • Leg weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Inability to speak, slurring, or words that don’t make sense

When to Seek Treatment

If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

A medical professional reading a brain scan.This is a medical emergency and needs to be addressed immediately. Prompt Emergency Medical Services (EMS) evaluation is preferred vs typical transportation as this can reduce treatment times. EMS can start the workup immediately in the field and alert appropriate services/teams who can be waiting ready upon arrival of the patient.

Remember that “Time is Brain”. Every minute during a stroke, approximately 1.9 million brain cells die.

Ways to Reduce Risk of Stroke

There are risk factors for stroke that we just can’t change however many of the risk factors are modifiable on our own or with our health care providers. Regular health maintenance visits with your primary care provider are extremely important at maintaining your overall health and reducing your stroke risk factors.

Optimal treatment of conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity can have major impacts at reducing your overall stroke risk. Lifestyle modification people can do at home can also have a huge impact including stopping smoking, moderate alcohol intake, regular exercise and proper nutrition including low salt intake. Please discuss with your health care provider before starting a new exercise program.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a stroke, sign up for our Stroke Survivor Support Group for additional support.