Know the Signs of a Stroke

Stroke is a devastating disease and one that can often be prevented. Through lifestyle changes and working with your physician, you can reduce your risk of having a stroke. 
Stroke is an emergency.  If you recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke, get to the hospital fast.  Please read the information provided, access the links and talk to your doctor for more information. 

Americans suffer a stroke each year.
of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65.
Cause of Death
Stroke accounts for 1 of every 17 deaths in the United States, making it the third leading cause of death in the country.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blocked or broken blood vessel.  When blood stops flowing to certain parts of the brain, patients may have symptoms such as weakness, speech and/or visual problems.  There are two types of stroke.
1. Ischemic Stroke is a blood clot stopping the flow of blood to an area of the brain.  
2. Hemorrhagic Stroke is when a weakened/diseased blood vessel’s rupture leaks blood into brain tissue.

Warning Signs

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

What to Do if You're Having Symptoms

  • CALL 911
  • Not all the warning signs occur in every stroke.  Don’t ignore signs of stroke, even if they go away!
  • Check the time.  When did the first warning sign or symptom start?  You or the person who is with you will be asked this important question later.
  • Treatment needs to occur as soon as possible.  A clot-busting drug or other treatments may reduce long-term disability for patients with ischemic stroke, the most common stroke type.
  • If you have one or more stroke symptoms, don’t delay!  Immediately call 9-1-1.  Do not drive yourself to the nearest hospital!
  • Expect the person experiencing symptoms to resist going to the hospital.  Don’t take “no” for an answer because “Time Lost is Brain Lost.”
  • When communicating with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or the hospital, make sure you use the word “STROKE.”

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Risk of Having a Stroke

You can improve your health, even if you’ve had a stroke.  A healthy lifestyle plays a large part in decreasing disability and death from stroke and heart attack.  Here are steps to take:
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Improve your eating habits.
  • Be physically active.
  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Get your blood pressure checked and control it if it’s high.
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Decrease your stress level.
  • Seek emotional support when it’s needed.
  • Have regular medical checkups.

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