May Is American Stroke Month
If you think you or someone else may be having a stroke, the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association wants you to know what to do. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to area of the brain is interrupted or reduced. Since this deprives the brain of nutrients and oxygen, brain cells begin to die. In fact, nearly 2 million brain cells die each minute that a stroke goes untreated. When dealing with a stroke, time is a crucial element as early treatment with clot buster medications can minimize brain damage and potentially save someone's life.
One of the major risk factors for having a stroke is age. Once you've reached age 55, you are at a higher risk of stroke. Generally speaking, men have a higher risk than women, but women are more likely to die from a stroke. Health factors that increase the risk of having a stroke include: obesity, lack of physical activity, a family history of stroke, cigarette smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and use of illicit drugs. Pre-existing medical conditions that are contributors to stroke include: high cholesterol, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
In the United States, every 40 seconds someone has a stroke, and stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability, especially among the elderly. While stroke threatens millions of lives, it is largely preventable, treatable and beatable. So, watch for these signs and symptoms, and seek immediate medical attention even though symptoms may fluctuate or disappear:
- Trouble Speaking or Slurring Words
- Difficulty Understanding What's Said
- Blurred or Blackened Vision
- Sudden and Severe Headaches
- Vomiting, Dizziness or Altered Consciousness
- Loss of Balance or Trouble Walking
- Trouble Seeing in One or Both Eyes
- Numbness or Paralysis on One Side of Face, Arm or Leg
- One Side of the Mouth Droops
Family members who have had strokes may become more withdrawn, more impulsive and less social active. If there is temporary paralysis, loss of muscle movement or permanent disabilities, he or she may need help with grooming and daily chores. All At Home Care can provide the skilled nursing, therapeutic and companion care that your family member may require to live comfortably in their home throughout the recovery process. Contact us today for a free Home Care Consultation.