Health and Fitness Matters



  Stroke Symptoms

How to Recognize Stroke Symptoms

Do you know how to recognize stroke symptoms? Knowing what the symptoms of stroke are can actually save your life! The incidence of stroke is so common that almost everyone has known someone who has suffered a stroke. Failing to recognize stroke symptoms can result in permanent damage. What is unfortunate, is that much of the damage caused by a stroke can be prevented. Being able to quickly recognize stroke symptoms followed by quick action, can save your life or the life of another person.

The key to survival is a quick response to what may appear at first to be just a headache, but could actually be stroke symptoms, followed by a seizure or a full stroke.

Although there are several types of strokes, all strokes are basically a condition where the blood supply to your brain cells becomes inadequate, or cut off. It doesn't take long before you are looking at permanent damage. There are medications which, if administered within an hour of the onset of stroke symptoms, can prevent permanent damage. That's why it's essential to be able to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and take immediate action.

You or a person you know suffering from the onset of a stroke may have one or all of the following stroke symptoms. Onset of each symptom is typically sudden and unexpected.

Here are some of the stroke symptoms to watch for:

1. You have a sensation of numbness or weakness in your limbs or face. Stroke often occurs on just one side of the body.

2. You have difficulty speaking or understanding what is being said to you.

3. You experience a severe headache without apparent reason.

4. Your vision is impaired, in one or both eyes.

5. You feel disoriented or confused.

6. You experience dizziness or vertigo, or difficulty coordinating muscles in walking, or a loss of balance.

If you have, or observe any of these stroke symptoms in someone else, it's imperative that you call 911 immediately. The sooner medical treatment is administered, the better are your chances for a complete recovery.

While anyone, even apparently healthy people, can suffer a stroke, there are a number of health and lifestyle practices which have been shown to increase your risk. There are also genetic factors in play. Here is a summary of factors which may increase your risk. Some may even be of a surprise to you.

Patients with heart conditions, high cholesterol readings, and diabetes are at an increased risk for stroke. They will be more likely to show stroke symptoms prior to an actual stroke. Also, sickle cell anemia, a genetic condition, impedes red blood cells in adequately supplying blood to tissues and organs, thus increasing the patient's risk of a stroke.

While the reasons are still not known, people living in the Southeast part of the U.S. suffer more strokes than people in other regions. It's also true that people who live in poverty also suffer a greater number of strokes than found in other socioeconomic groups. Alcohol and drug abusers are also more vulnerable to stroke. This may be from a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream which can affect the brain.

If you or a family member are at increased risk to stroke, be particularly alert to the stroke symptoms that have been described above. Even if you're in good health and feel good, it is a good idea to place these stroke symptoms in a prominent location, along with the number of your doctor and local hospital. Stroke is nothing to fool around with, especially when response time really counts and could save a life!

It is also a good idea to get a check-up with a physician on a regular basis, especially if you are at a higher risk for stroke or have shown stroke symptoms in the past. Prevention is the best approach and strokes are preventable. At least you can reduce your risk to stroke symptoms by following a doctor's advice.


Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you know you are having a stroke?
What can you do if you think you're about to have a stroke?
What are the symptoms of stroke and how do you recognize stroke symptoms?

All of these questions and more are answered here in our article about stroke symptoms.