Understanding Stroke Warning Signs

Yesterday late afternoon, my Mom began suffering from a stroke, thankfully we were aware of the warnings and praise God she is recovering.

Are your awareness and response to stroke warning signs really that important?

Yes! You can avoid a life altering disability, or possibly death, by simply knowing what the most common warning signs are.

The list below will help you recognize stroke and mini stroke symptoms. Take note of them, tell your family and friends about them, and seek immediate help if you or someone near you shows any sign of them.

The Most Common Stroke Warning Signs Include:

A sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
Weakness or inability to move one side of the body. This is due to our brain controlling opposite sides of our body. If a stroke occurs in the right side of the brain it will affect the left side of the body
Difficulty speaking
Difficulty understanding what others are saying (confusion)
Sudden blurred or decreased vision in one or both eyes
Dizziness or loss of balance and co-ordination
Sudden severe headache, which has been described as being like a blow to the head (associated with a hemorrhagic stroke)
Slurred speech
Difficulty swallowing
Nausea and vomiting (consider this particular symptom in combination with the others)
Knowledge of stroke warning signs is crucial to getting early treatment and keeping the possibility of related disabilities to a minimum.

What is the Benefit of Early Detection?

It is important to get to the hospital as soon as possible if you experience stroke warning signs. Hospitals are more frequently treating strokes caused by blood clots with clot-dissolving medicines.

These medicines can cause stroke symptoms to be relieved very quickly. They can also prevent a long-term disability or possibly death.

Approximately 80% of all reported strokes are caused by a blood clot blocking blood flow to the brain (known as an ischemic stroke).

Ischemic strokes can be treated with a drug, called t-PA, which dissolves artery-obstructing clots. However, this treatment only works if the medication is given within the first 3 to 6 hours after the stroke began.

This means that even if the stroke warning signs fade away, you should still get to the emergency room as soon as possible!

One of the reasons why stroke is a leading cause of death and disability is a lack of responsiveness. Approximately 93% of the adult population cannot name a single stroke warning sign.

That is an alarming statistic considering the benefits of early detection!

The One Minute Test for Stroke

According to a report by the American Stroke Association you could frequently identify someone having a stroke by administering a quick test.

If you suspect someone demonstrating stroke symptoms, ask them to perform these three tasks:

1. Smile: If they cannot raise their lips or if only one side of their mouth is able to move, it’s a warning sign.

2. Raise both arms and keep them up: Difficulty raising one or both arms is another warning sign.

3. Speak a simple sentence clearly: Slurred speech is yet another warning sign of stroke.

This test, which takes less than one minute, can help untrained adults identify possible stroke victims and get them immediate attention.

Being Aware of Common Stroke Warning Signs
can make a Difference

Awareness is key to all areas of our lives. It is especially important when it comes to our health. Being aware of how your body “feels” and functions can give you an edge when something changes.

Slight changes in vision, memory, physical skills, or clear thinking may not always be a cause for alarm. Emotional stress, not eating properly, poor sleeping habits, lack of exercise, and just your body naturally aging can all cause physical symptoms.

However, these changes could mean something more serious is on the horizon.

Your ability to notice these changes, and to seek answers as to why they are happening, can mean the difference between preventative medical attention and a full blown stroke (or some other serious condition).

“Listen” to your Body

Your body was created to give you warning signs when you need them. These signs are your body’s way of communicating with your conscious mind.

If you heed the warnings you stand a much better chance of living a healthier, more productive life.

Stroke warning signs are no exception. However, the truth is that not all strokes come with prior warning signs. Studies have reported that 50% of all strokes occur without any warning at all.

This means that not everyone that has a stroke can be responsible for not noticing stroke warning signs.

However, it is surprising how many people do experience early stroke warning signs and do not seek immediate medical treatment.

Stroke Statistics
Generally, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 45 seconds
Stroke is the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer
Each year, about 700,000 people suffer a stroke. About 500,000 of these are first attacks, and 200,000 are repeated attacks
Roughly 160,000 people die of stroke each year
Approximately 250,000 people survive stroke and cope with permanent disabilities
About 4.5 million people are living survivors of stroke
Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S.
Stroke is the number one reason for new admissions to nursing homes
As stated earlier, approximately 93% of the adult population cannot name a single stroke warning sign

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