Stroke Awareness Tips

A stroke is a medical emergency. Every minute counts when someone is having a stroke. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage. Immediate treatment can save people’s lives and enhance their chances for successful recovery.

The symptoms of a stroke are distinct because they happen quickly:
# Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
# Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
# Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
# Sudden severe headache with no known cause

What should a bystander do?

If you believe someone is having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Sometimes warning signs last for only a few minutes and then disappear. This could be a mini stroke, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Don’t ignore a TIA – see your physician right away.

Prevention Tips
A stroke is a single, damaging attack, but the conditions or risk factors that lead to a stroke, such as high blood pressure, smoking, heart disease, and diabetes develop over many years. You can reduce your stroke risk by taking the following steps:

Control your blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked often, and if it is high, follow your physician’s advice on how to lower it.

Stop smoking. Cigarette smoking is linked to increased risk for stroke. Research shows that the risk of stroke for people who have quit smoking for two to five years is lower than people who still smoke.

Exercise regularly. Exercise may make the heart stronger and improve circulation. It also helps control weight. Physical activities such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, and yard work lower the risk of both stroke and heart disease.

Eat a healthy diet. Choose, prepare, and eat foods low in fat, saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Control your diabetes. If untreated, diabetes can damage the blood vessels throughout the body and lead to clogged arteries, which in turn can lead to stroke.

Information adapted from Munson Education

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