Stroke: Know the signs, act in time
Imagine suddenly realizing something is wrong. You can't speak. Your right hand isn't working. You're a little confused … a little dizzy … and you can't see quite right. You suddenly have a splitting headache. Would you know what was wrong or what to do?
If you're like most people, you probably wouldn't realize you are having a stroke — that's because stroke injures the brain. The people around you might not know it either, and it's possible you may not be able to dial 911 on your own. That's why it's vital for everyone to know the signs of stroke and how to seek treatment quickly.
A stroke can be
deadly — just like a heart attack- and should be taken seriously. When it happens, every minute counts. The longer blood
flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, more than 700,000 Americans experience a stroke each year, and it is the third leading cause of death.
For the record, the symptoms of a stroke are:
. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg;
. Sudden confusion, trouble
speaking or understanding speech;
. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes;
. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination;
. Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
The likelihood you'll have a stroke depends on your age and race.
Nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65, and the risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55. For African Americans, stroke is more common and more deadly than for any other racial group in the United States.
On average, a stroke takes the life of a loved one every three minutes, with seniors most vulnerable. By recognizing symptoms and getting a stroke patient to an expert stroke team quickly, you not only improve the chances of surviving the brain attack but also improve the quality of life after stroke.
Speak to your physician about the signs of stroke and if you could possibly be at risk for one. Your physician can perform a physical examination to assure that you are in good health and are not at a higher risk for stroke.
Make sure you know the symptoms of a stroke … it just may save your life or the life of a loved one.