A stroke occurs when the blood supply is interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Essentially, when you are having a stroke, there is a loss of blood flow to the brain.
Symptoms of a stroke appear suddenly. Watch for these symptoms and be prepared to act quickly for yourself or on behalf of someone you are with:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble talking, or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms indicative of a stroke, do not wait. Call 911 immediately.
How Can I Reduce My Risk?
These are the most common risk factors for stroke that can be reduced by medical intervention and/or lifestyle changes:
- High Blood Pressure
- Tobacco Use
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Carotid or Other Artery Disease
- Atrial Fibrillation or Other Heart Disease
- History of TIA's or "Mini Strokes"
- High Red Blood Cell Count
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- High Blood Cholesterol
- Physical Inactivity
- Excessive Weight
- Excessive Alcohol Intake
- Use of Some Illegal Drugs