May is stroke awareness month, a time to reflect on the millions of people and their loved ones affected by this dangerous medical emergency. One American has a stroke every 40 seconds, and every four minutes, a stroke takes a victim’s life. Many of the risk factors that can lead to stroke can be avoided with simple lifestyle changes. This month, commit to understanding the risks and symptoms of stroke and making the wellness changes needed to minimize your chances of suffering a dangerous and potentially deadly stroke.
When a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain becomes blocked by a clot or bursts, the brain cannot receive the necessary amount of blood and oxygen it needs to perform optimally. As a result, brain cells die. This occurrence, known as a stroke, can result in temporary or permanent disability or possibly death.
Many risk factors that can lead to stroke are avoidable. Some, unfortunately, are genetic or otherwise not preventable. Stroke risk factors include:
Acting quickly at the sign of a stroke can be the difference between recovering fully and being left with a long, difficult permanent disability or losing one’s life. Signs of a stroke may include the following sudden symptoms:
If you believe you may be having a stroke, or if you believe you are witnessing stroke symptoms in a loved one, follow these emergency safety steps:
Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. With such a high prevalence of stroke cases in our country, everyone should understand the risk factors that can increase one’s chances of experiencing a stroke and the symptoms that must be acted upon quickly to prevent disability or death. During Stroke Awareness Month, we are committed to increasing the dialogue around stroke, supporting sufferers of the condition, and educating our communities so that strokes claim fewer victims—fewer fathers, mothers, friends, and loved ones.