Knowing the warning signs of a stroke may be the difference between recovery and disability.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds, or when there’s a blockage in the blood supply to the brain. The rupture or blockage prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the brain’s tissues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, more than 795,000 U.S. people have a stroke. Without oxygen, brain cells and tissue become damaged and begin to die within minutes. Check out exactly how stroke effects the body.
The loss of blood flow to the brain damages tissues within the brain. Symptoms of a stroke show up in the body parts controlled by the damaged areas of the brain. The sooner a person having a stroke gets care, the better their outcome is likely to be. For this reason, it’s helpful to know the signs of a stroke so you can act quickly. Stroke symptoms can include:
numbness or weakness in the arm, face, and leg, especially on one side of the body
trouble speaking or understanding speech
vision problems, such as trouble seeing in one or both eyes with vision blackened or blurred, or double vision
loss of balance or coordination
severe, sudden headache with an unknown cause
A stroke requires immediate medical attention. If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, have someone call 911 right away. Prompt treatment is key to preventing the following outcomes:
It’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with a stroke, so don’t be afraid to call 911 if you think you recognize the signs of a stroke. Act FAST and learn to recognize the signs of stroke.