The incidence of stroke is so common that almost everyone has known someone who has suffered a stroke, sometimes resulting in permanent damage. What's unfortunate, is that much of the damage caused by a stroke can be prevented. Being able to recognize stroke symptoms, followed by quick action, can save your life, or the life of another person.
Although there are several types of strokes, all strokes are basically a condition where the blood supply to your brain cells becomes inadequate. It doesn't take long before you are looking at permanent damage. There are medications which, if administered within an hour of the onset of stroke symptoms, can prevent permanent damage. That's why it's essential to be able to recognize the symptoms and take immediate action.
A person suffering a stroke may have one or all of the following stroke symptoms. Onset of each symptom is typically sudden.
1.You have a sensation of numbness or weakness in your limbs or face. Stroke often occurs on just one side of the body.
2.You have difficulty speaking or understanding what is being said to you.
3.You experience a severe headache without apparent reason.
4.Your vision is impaired, in one or both eyes.
5.You feel disoriented or confused.
6.You experience dizziness or vertigo, or difficulty coordinating muscles in walking, or a loss of balance.
If you have, or observe any of these stroke symptoms in someone else, it's imperative that you call 911 immediately. The sooner medical treatment is administered, the better are your chances for a complete recovery.
While anyone, even apparently healthy people, can suffer a stroke, there are a number of health and lifestyle practices which have been shown to increase your risk. There are also genetic factors in play. Here is a summary of factors which may increase your risk. Some may surprise you.
Patients with heart conditions, high cholesterol readings and diabetes are at increased risk for stroke. Sickle cell anemia, a genetic condition, impedes red blood cells in adequately supplying blood to tissues and organs, thus increasing the patient's risk.
While the reasons are unclear, people living in the Southeast of the U.S. suffer more strokes than people in other regions. It's also true that people who live in poverty also suffer a greater number of strokes than found in other socioeconomic groups. Alcohol and drug abusers are also more vulnerable to stroke.
If you or a family member are at increased risk, be particularly alert to the stroke symptoms described above. Even if you're fit and healthy, you'd do well to post these stroke symptoms in a prominent location, along with the number of your doctor and local hospital. Stroke is nothing to fool around with – time counts!