Stroke: Sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood flow or rupture of an artery in the brain.
Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke
• Problems speaking and understanding. You may experience confusion. You can slander your words or have difficulty understanding speech.
• Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in your face, arm or leg, especially on one side of your body. Try raising both arms on your head at the same time. If an arm starts to fall, you may have a stroke. In the same way, one side of your mouth may fall off when you try to smile.
• Problems seeing with one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.
• Headache. A sudden and severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate that you are having a stroke.
• Problems walking. You may trip or experience sudden dizziness, loss of balance, or loss of coordination.
Many factors can increase your risk of stroke. Some factors can also increase your chances of having a heart attack. Potentially treatable stroke risk factors include:
Style risk factors
• Being overweight or obese
• Physical inactivity
• Excessive alcohol consumption
• Use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines
Medical risk factors
High blood pressure: the risk of stroke begins to increase in blood pressure
• Smoking cigarettes or being exposed to secondhand smoke.
• High cholesterol.
Other factors associated with an increased risk of stroke include:
• Personal or family history of stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack.
• Be 55 years old or older.
• Race: African Americans have a higher risk of stroke than people of other races.
• Gender: men have a higher risk of stroke than women. Women are usually older when they have strokes, and are more likely to die of stroke than men
• A stroke can sometimes cause temporary or permanent disabilities, depending on how long the brain lacks blood flow and which part was affected. Complications may include: Paralysis or loss of muscle movement. You may become paralyzed on one side of your body or lose control of certain muscles, such as those on one side of the face or on an arm. Physical therapy can help you return to activities that are hindered by paralysis, such as walking, eating, and dressing.
• Difficulty speaking or swallowing. A stroke can cause you to have less control over how the muscles in your mouth and throat move, making it difficult to speak clearly (dysarthria), swallow or eat (dysphagia). You may also have difficulty with language (aphasia), which includes speaking or understanding speech, reading or writing. Therapy with a speech and language pathologist can help.
• Memory loss or difficulty thinking. Many people who have had strokes experience memory loss. Others may have difficulty thinking, making judgments, reasoning and understanding concepts.
• Emotional problems. People who have had strokes may have more difficulty controlling their emotions, or may develop depression.
• Pain. People who have had strokes may have pain, numbness, or other strange sensations in parts of their bodies affected by a stroke. For example, if a stroke causes you to lose feeling in your left arm, you may develop an uncomfortable tingling sensation in that arm.
• Changes in behavior and ability to self-care. People who have had strokes can become more withdrawn and less sociable or more impulsive.
Some risk factors for strokes can be reduced with preventive care, medications, and changes in lifestyle. . Many stroke prevention strategies are the same as strategies to prevent heart disease. In general, good health habits can reduce risk
Control high blood pressure (hypertension).
• Decrease the amount of cholesterol and saturated fats in your diet.
• Control diabetes.
• Keep a healthy weight
Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
Exit tobacco consumption.
Avoid illicit drugs
The treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, if present.
Video credits to Awareness and precautions videos YouTube channel