May is Stroke Awareness Month, so we’ve put together all the basic information you might need for understanding strokes and how to identify and prevent them.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is what happens when the blood supply to your brain, or part of it, is restricted. This means that your brain is not receiving the amount of oxygen and essential nutrients that it needs to thrive. The longer this supply is cut off for, the more likely it is that permanent brain damage can occur.
This condition is caused by the arteries leading towards the brain becoming blocked. A number of other health conditions increase the likelihood of this occurring, such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
However, anyone is at risk of suffering from a stroke, and it doesn’t just happen as we get older, either.
Identifying a stroke
When it comes to spotting a stroke before it’s too late, you will need to act FAST:
F – Face drooping
A – Arm weakness
S – Speech difficulties
T – Time to call 911
The first three are the main signals that are likely to occur first when someone is experiencing a stroke. When you notice these signs, it is important that you call 911 as soon as possible to reduce the long-term effects that the stroke has on that person. Other symptoms could indicate a stroke, such as numbness on one side of the body, blurred vision, confusion, and dizziness.
What can you do to reduce the risk of you or a loved one suffering from a stroke? Your lifestyle can play a big part in contributing towards a stroke. Smoking and eating a diet that’s high in fat and cholesterol increase the build-up in your arteries. So, some of the most effective ways of preventing a stroke are quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, getting more exercise, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
If you suffer from any of the conditions listed above, or any other medical condition that is a known risk factor for strokes, then it is important that you always take your prescribed medication to keep this condition and its side effects in check.
Having in-home senior care or an assisted living service is a great way to make sure that a stroke is identified and acted upon quickly if it does occur. In-home care nurses can also help to advise you on living a healthier lifestyle and support you in making these important changes that could save your life.
If you’re in need of in-home care in the Piedmont Triad, then contact us at Home Loving Senior Care for help and support.