According to the National Stroke Organization, every year nearly 800000 people experience a stroke. Every four minutes someone dies from a stroke, but 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in adults in the United States.
During a stroke, the blood supply to a part of the brain is disrupted, and the cells are unable to receive oxygen. Without an immediate restoration of blood supply, brain cells are permanently damaged, resulting in significant physical or mental disability. Recognizing symptoms and risk factors are essential for prompt medical intervention when a stroke occurs.
Warning signs of stroke
1. Sudden numbness or weakness in the arms face, or legs
If a person complains of sudden numbness or is experiencing weakness in their arms, legs or face, do not ignore it. Perform a quick test by stretching the person’s arms (palms up) for 10 seconds. If an arm goes down, it can be a sign of stroke.
2. Look for weak muscles or facial limbs
The person may be unable to hold objects or suddenly lose balance while standing. Look for signs that only one side of the person’s face or body has weakened. One side of the person’s mouth may fall into a smile or may not be able to hold both arms above his or her head.
3. Look for confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
When certain areas of the brain are affected, the individual may have difficulty speaking or understanding what is being said. Your loved one may seem confused by what you are saying, respond in a way that indicates you do not understand what was said, slur your words, or speak in confused noises that do not look like speech. This can be very frightening. Do your best to calm it down after you call your local emergency number for emergency medical treatment.
4. Ask if the person has vision problems in one or both eyes
During a stroke, the vision may suddenly be affected. People say they lose sight in one or both eyes or see double. As the person can not see or is seeing double (if you are having trouble talking, ask him to nod with yes or no if possible).
Symptoms of a stroke
5. Watch for the loss of coordination or balance
When the person loses strength in their arms or legs, they may notice that the person has difficulty with balance and coordination. He may not be able to pick up a pen or can not coordinate the ride because a leg can not function properly.
6. Sudden and severe headache
A stroke is also called a “stroke” and can result in a sudden headache that is described as the worst headache someone has experienced. A headache may be associated with nausea and vomiting because of increased pressure in the brain.
Dizziness is the most common symptom of a stroke. People may misinterpret this symptom by thinking that the person is intoxicated, but he or she may have a stroke.
8. Shortness of breath
A person suffering from a stroke will also experience shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. This usually happens when the part of the brain responsible for the respiratory function is affected due to a reduced blood flow.