Risk Factors and Warning Signs of a Stroke
Every year in the United States, more than 795,000 people have a stroke, and about 610,000 of those people never had a stroke before. Strokes can come on unexpectedly, which is why it’s so important for us to get educated about the risk factors and warning signs so that we can focus on prevention. May was established as National Stroke Awareness Month in 1989 to help spread information about strokes and give at-risk populations the opportunity to recognize the signs and symptoms before a stroke occurs. This May, the staff at Summerset Senior Living would like to share with you some risk factors and warning signs of a stroke.
Risk Factors for a Stroke
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, and without medical attention it can be fatal or life-altering. Any condition that causes thickening or clotting of the blood, or that constricts the blood vessels, can potentially lead to a stroke. Many of these are lifestyle-related, so if any of these risk factors apply to you, changing your behavior can greatly reduce your risk of stroke:
- Heavy Drinking
- A Diet High in Saturated Fat and Salt
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
If you have one or more of these risk factors, it’s a good idea to speak with a doctor as soon as possible to find out about changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle to prevent a stroke in the future. It’s never too late to make a change for the better, so we urge you to take this opportunity to start making healthier choices.
Warning Signs of a Stroke
The majority of stroke victims are experiencing it for the first time, and as such, they may not immediately recognize the signs and symptoms. The quicker you can get medical attention during a stroke, the better chance you will have of surviving without any major impairment. Here are some signs to watch out for, especially if you have the risk factors listed above:
- Sudden numbness on one side of the body. This is usually experienced in the face, arm, or leg
- Sudden confusion, slurred speech, or difficulty understanding the speech of others
- Sudden loss of balance or coordination, often coupled with dizziness
- Sudden difficulty seeing
- Sudden severe headache with no discernable cause
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, it is absolutely a medical emergency and you should get another person to call 9-1-1 immediately. Quick action can save your life or someone else’s during a stroke, but only if you recognize the signs.
If you have already experienced one stroke, there is a 23% chance you will have another one. In addition, 85 to 90% of strokes occur in people over the age of 50, so it’s crucial for people in that age group to understand risk factors and symptoms. If you or a loved one has risk factors for stroke, you may want to look into a medical monitoring bracelet. For those who have stroke risk factors and also have difficulty performing the activities of daily living, a senior living community may be the right choice. At Summerset Senior Living’s communities in Lincoln, CA and Rancho Cordova, CA, we provide our residents with 24/7 medical monitoring, and access to the best medical care in the area is just minutes away. If you would like to find out more, or you want to schedule a tour, give us a call at (916) 619-0494 or fill out the online form on our contact page.