A stroke occurs either when the blood supply to part of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, causing damage to a part of the brain. A stroke is also sometimes called a brain attack.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Among survivors, stroke can cause significant disability including paralysis as well as speech and emotional problems. New treatments are available that can reduce the damage caused by a stroke for some victims. But these treatments need to be given soon after the symptoms start.
Knowing the symptoms of stroke, calling 911 right away, and getting to a hospital are crucial to the most beneficial outcomes after having a stroke. The best treatment is to try to prevent a stroke by taking steps to lower your risk for stroke.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke notes these five major signs of stroke:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms, or legs.
- Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding others.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
All of the major symptoms of stroke appear suddenly, and often there is more than one symptom at the same time.
If you think someone is having a stroke, you should call 9𢴏 or emergency medical services immediately. Receiving immediate treatment is critical in lowering the risk of disability and even death.
Risk Factors for Stroke
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Tobacco Use
- High Blood Cholesterol
- Excessive Use of Alcohol
- Control High Blood Pressure
- Control Diabetes
- Do Not Use Tobacco
- Treat Atrial Fibrillation
- Control High Blood Cholesterol
- Moderate Alcohol Use
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Eat Healthy
- Be Aware of Genetic Risk Factors