Knowing your stroke risk factors and making positive changes to your lifestyle habits can greatly reduce your risk of stroke. But even the best prevention methods are not always successful. Stroke is the fourth most common cause of death in the United States and the number one cause of adult long-term disability. When a stroke strikes, the shorter the time between its onset and initial stroke treatment can mean a significant difference in the patient's outcome.
Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke
Even if you are practicing stroke prevention guidelines, you should always know the warning signs of a stroke. Here are the common symptoms:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
There is a FAST way to recognize and respond to the warning signs of a stroke:
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Ask the person to smile. Is one side of their face crooked or drooping? Does their face feel numb?
Ask the person to raise both arms. Is the person unable to elevate one arm? Does one arm have a tendency to drift downward? Is one arm weak or numb?
Ask the person to speak. Are their words unintelligible or slurred? Does the person have trouble understanding you?
In the event of a stroke every second counts to avoid the risk of brain damage. If you observe any of the symptoms listed above, call 9-1-1 for medical assistance immediately.
Reduce Your Risk with Stroke Prevention Guidelines
According to the National Stroke Association, some risks can't be avoided.
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The chance of having a stroke nearly doubles for each decade of life after age 55.
Stroke is more common in men than women.
| ||Ethnicity and Heredity|
African-Americans and those with relatives who have suffered from stroke are at higher risk.
Prior Stroke, TIA or Heart Attack
Medical issues that compromise the hear and arteries will put you at greater risk.
Talk to your physician about lifestyle changes that can lessen your risk for stroke.
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Tobacco use doubles your risk of stroke
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Reduce your cholesterol, especially if it is reaching 240 mg or higher. Watch your blood pressure; 140/90 or higher puts you at greater risk. Exercise, diet and stress management can reverse these numbers.
| ||Manage Diabetes|
Diabetes causes faster plaque buildup in arteries. Watch your diet, take your medications and exercise regularly.
OhioHealth's McConnell Heart Health Center and Grant Health and Fitness Center are staffed with certified exercise physiologists and nutritionists who can help get you on track for stroke prevention and good health.
Call these Centers to schedule a tour and find out how you can set up a health and exercise program for you and your family.
Rapid Response for OhioHealth Patients 24/7
When stroke victims are en route to OhioHealth's Riverside Methodist Hospital, the Stroke Alert System is activated by the emergency medical service (EMS), which triggers into action an around-the-clock stroke treatment team:
- a neuroradiologist
- a neurologist
- stroke-trained nurses
- imaging technologists
Having these experts available 24/7 for immediate response is exceptional and uncommon for most hospitals.
At OhioHeath's Grant Medical Center, stroke victims receive the expertise of a Level I Trauma Center and a neuroscience team providing 24-hour care. In fact, Grant was the first hospital in Columbus to earn the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. Riverside Methodist also is a recipient of this distinguishing stroke achievement award.
Our Innovative Techniques Save Brains from Stroke Damage
OhioHealth physicians are often the first in the world to research new stroke treatments through clinical trials, giving our patients access to the most leading-edge stroke treatments and prevention techniques available. See all of OhioHealth's neurological treatment options.
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