Did you know a stroke, also known as a brain attack, is a type of brain injury? A stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to a part of the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. Stroke is an acquired brain injury, which is any type of brain damage occurring after birth that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or the result of an external impact.
According to the Center for Disease Control, stroke kills nearly 130,000 Americans each year – 1 in every 18 deaths. Every year, more than 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke. So what are the signs of stroke?
1. Sudden numbness or weakness in the arm, leg or face
2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding others
3. Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
4. Sudden dizziness, difficulty walking or loss of balance or coordination
5. Sudden severe headache with no cause
Studies estimate that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. High blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, smoking, alcohol use (drink in moderation), high cholesterol diabetes and Transient Ischemic Attack are some of the health issues which can raise your risk for stroke.
Eat a healthy diet, exercise, get a yearly check-up, drink alcohol in moderation or avoid it altogether, stop smoking and stay on top of any health issues you may have such as diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about your risk of stroke at your next annual check-up and fill out the National Stroke Association’s stroke card to check your risk today.