Spotting the signs and symptoms of a stroke early on can prompt a person to call 911 immediately, so that the treatment can begin right away to reduce to risk of complications or even death.
The American Stroke Association has outlined five key signs of stroke that should urge someone to call 911 right away. These five signs include:
-Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg.
-Sudden confusion or trouble speaking.
-Sudden vision problems in one or both eyes.
-Sudden difficulty walking or dizziness.
-Severe headache with no known cause.
Stroke is the leading cause of disability, and without immediate medical attention the risk of disability due to stroke increases greatly.
Dr. Doojin Kim, a neurologist at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, said, “If someone has an ischemic stroke – the type in which a brain artery becomes blocked or restricted – the effects often can be reversed or drastically reduced if treatment is started within three hours. But if they’re unsure or they wait to see if symptoms will go away, the window of opportunity for effective treatment can close.”
“Stroke is occurring more and more often in younger people. It’s still more common in those in their senior years, but just because someone is middle-aged or even younger doesn’t mean they can’t have a stroke,” added Kim.
Those at a greater risk for stroke are individuals with a family history of stroke, those who are inactive, eat poorly, have high cholesterol, have high blood pressure, and who are overweight. Although having a family history of stroke cannot be changed, the other risk factors are modifiable, which means you can lower your risk of stroke.
Lastly, do not smoke, as that increases your risk of stroke, too.
Kim concluded, “Although most people have heard the list of risk factors before, it never hurts to provide a reminder because we often think, ‘It can’t happen to me.’ The reality is, it can.”
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article on Patterns in blood pressure may predict stroke.