Friday, April 10, 2015
Stroke occurs in over 795,000 people in the United States each year. Of the stroke survivors, over 40% suffer from another stroke during or after recovery. Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability and is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States. It makes you wonder, why are we so under-educated about this debilitating disease?
First, we must understand what stroke is and how it is caused. Check out my blog, Stroke Prevention: Reduce Your Risk With Diet and Exercise for more information on how stroke occurs.
It is also important to know the signs of stroke so that you will know how to act. Some signs and symptoms of stroke include:
1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
3. Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you or someone around you is experiencing even one of these signs, call 911 immediately and record the time that it began. The hospital will need to know when the first symptom occurred to administer a thrombolytic. 1 Research conducted by The American Stroke Association shows that patients who take a clot-busting drug, or thrombolytic, within three hours of their first stroke symptom can reduce long-term disability from ischemic stroke – the most common type, accounting for about 87 percent of all cases. Remember, you could be having a stroke even if you’re not experiencing all of the symptoms.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke could save your life or the life of someone you love. An easy way to remember the signs of stroke are to use the acronym F.A.S.T.:
· Face drooping
· Arm weakness
· Speech difficulty
· Time to call 911
Another way to ensure that stroke doesn’t strike is to avoid risk factors that can lead to stroke such as smoking cigarettes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, alcohol and drug abuse, poor diet, and physical inactivity or obesity. By living a healthier lifestyle and being educated about the signs of stroke, you can aid in the prevention of stroke in your own life or the life of someone you love.
Recognizing Stroke. (2014, July 16). Retrieved April 4, 2015, from http://www.stroke.org/understand-stroke/recognizing-stroke
Learn More Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms. (2013, April 3). Retrieved April 4, 2015, from http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/WarningSigns/Learn-More-Stroke-Warning-Signs-and-Symptoms_UCM_451207_Article.jsp
Symptoms of a Stroke in Women - Go Red for Women. (2013, October 29). Retrieved April 4, 2015, from https://www.goredforwomen.org/about-heart-disease/symptoms_of_heart_disease_in_women/symptoms-of-a-stroke/