Strokes are one of the main causes of major disability among adults, and the third highest cause of deaths in the US. Sometimes, knowing the early signs of a stroke can mean the difference between life and death.
In reality, strokes can affect all people, regardless of the age, and is a result of the reduction of blood supply to the brain.
People that suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and artery diseases are at an increased risk. Moreover, smoking, a family history of strokes, obesity alcoholism, and physical inactivity also raise the risk of stroke.
Learning how to spot the signs of a stroke will give you the needed time to ask for an immediate medical help, and thus reduce the damage and boost the success of rehabilitation efforts.
Remember the acronym FAST to remind you of the three most common warning signs, crafted by the medical fraternity, and you will prevent additional complications:
- Facial dropping
- Arm weakness
- Speech difficulties
- Time to call 9-1-1!
This is all you need to know about the early signs of strokes:
- Facial Drooping
The facial changes are obvious, as the face is sagging and dropping on one side. Yet, the area is numb, so you might not feel anything. An easy way to check the state is to smile or to ask the other person to smile, and if it is impossible, you should immediately ask for help.
- Numbness Or Paralysis On One Side
The numbness or weakness on one side of the face is the beginning of a stroke. You need to act on time, as the paralysis might have lasting effects.
- Garbled Or Slurred Speech, Or No Speech At All
Stroke might be the reason why someone cannot speak at all or sounds slurry and gibberish.
- Difficulty Raising Arms
If you cannot raise the arms and keep them parallel to the ground and extended in front of you, it might be a sign of a stroke.
Another sign of a stroke is the sudden confusion and difficulty following a conversation.
- An unexplained Headache
Strokes might also be characterized by an intense, severe headache, with no apparent reason.
- Dizziness And Trouble Walking
Strokes might also lead to an inability to find the balance, dizziness, and difficulties walking.
- Vision Problems
Strokes often lead to blurred vision or a sudden decreased vision.
If you or someone you is with you experiences any of these signs, you need to contact the medical emergency as soon as possible. Remember to note the exact time the symptoms first appeared, in order to help the doctors to take the needed action.
However, in order to prevent strokes and similar health issues, you should follow the tips below:
Lower blood pressure
High blood pressure doubles the risk of strokes. According to Dr.Rost:
“High blood pressure is the biggest contributor to the risk of stroke in both men and women. Monitoring blood pressure and, if it is elevated, treating it, is probably the biggest difference people can make to their vascular health.”
Therefore, do all you can to maintain your blood pressure of less than 135/85.
Obesity raises the risk of strokes too, so make sure you eat a healthy diet and start exercises to burn extra fat in the body.
Exercise will help you lose weight, lower blood pressure, and thus lower the risk of strokes.
You should completely avoid alcohol or drink in moderation only.
You should control your blood sugar levels, as they can also cause a stroke.
Treat atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is a form of irregular heartbeat that leads to the formation of clots in the heart, that can eventually cause a stroke. Dr.Rost explains:
“Atrial fibrillation carries almost a fivefold risk of stroke, and should be taken seriously.”
Smoking speeds up the clot formation, thickens your blood, and boosts the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries, so you will significantly lower the risk of strokes by quitting.