A stroke is a medical emergency that can lead to long-term disability or even death. It is important to be aware of the warning signs of stroke so you can get help quickly if needed. The whole truth is, knowing the warning signs of a stroke can help save your life or the life of someone you love. Before we get into warning signs, let’s answer the question:
What is a Stroke?
A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition in which poor blood flow to the brain causes cells in the brain to die. It can be caused by a blocked or ruptured blood vessel, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to the brain. There are two major types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke happens when there is not enough blood flow to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke happens when there is bleeding in or around the brain.
Early Warning Signs of a Stroke
The most typical warning signs of a stroke are sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, mostly on one side of the body. Other symptoms include:
- sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
- difficulty walking or loss of balance or coordination
- a sudden, severe headache with no known cause
It’s important to act fast if you experience any of these symptoms.
How do I know if I am having a stroke?
The acronym “BE FAST” can help you recognize stroke symptoms:
- Balance problems
- Eyesight changes
- Face drooping
- Arm weakness
- Speech difficulty
- Time to call 911.
According to American Stroke Association, If you or someone experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
If treated quickly enough, strokes can be reversed with medication and other treatments such as clot retrieval devices and carotid artery stenting. Early treatment can reduce long-term disability from stroke and even save lives.
As I mentioned earlier, if you think you or someone may be having a stroke, it’s important to act fast and call 911 right away. Knowing the warning signs could make all the difference in getting timely treatment for a stroke patient.
No matter your age, It is important to make lifestyle changes that can help reduce your risk for stroke, such as eating a healthy diet low in saturated fat and sodium, exercising regularly, quitting smoking if you smoke, managing stress levels, controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and limiting alcohol consumption.