According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America. While that is a sobering statistic, you may find this one more hopeful: 6.6 million people who have had strokes are alive today. Not all strokes are fatal, and the more familiar you and your family are with the stroke warning signs and symptoms, the better chance your chance of getting the lifesaving help you need.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is the blockage or bursting of a blood vessel that feeds into the brain. The interrupted flow of nutrients affects both the brain tissue and the part of the body that the affected brain tissue controls. A TIA (transient ischemic attack) happens when a blood clot briefly clogs an artery, causing stroke-like symptoms that last for a few minutes and then go away. It’s just as crucial to seek medical attention following a TIA because it can sometimes foretell a major stroke to come.
Read on for more information about the following 5 warning signs and symptoms of a stroke.
5 warning signs and symptoms of a stroke
A stroke comes on quickly and with no warning. If you or a loved one experiences these 5 warning signs and symptoms of a stroke, it’s important to get help right away to minimize the damage. The faster you seek help, the less likely you are to suffer long-term damage, and the higher the chances of recovery.
Sudden numbness or weakness – often on one side of the body, affecting the face, arm, or leg
Sudden confusion – difficulty finding words or speaking in clear sentences
Sudden vision changes – including blurriness or trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden loss of balance – difficulty walking, dizziness, and loss of coordination
Sudden abrupt headache – often throbbing, severe, and unlike other headaches experienced in the past.
The FAST test
If you think you or someone you love is having a stroke, the acronym FAST can help you remember what to look for and what to do.
F for face droopiness.
Ask the person to smile. Look for droopiness on one side of the face.
A for arm weakness.
Ask the person to raise their arms. Check to see if one arm drifts downward or appears otherwise weak.
S for speech difficulties.
Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Listen for slurred words or unclear sentence structure.
T for Time to call 911.
If you notice any of the stroke warning signs above, it’s vital to get to the hospital as quickly as possible.
Post stroke recovery at Bella Vista
At Bella Vista Health Center, we’re not only trained to keep an eye out for the warning signs of stroke in our residents, but we’re also equipped to aid in the recovery process for anyone who has suffered a stroke. Our skilled nursing facility provides a comfortable and nurturing environment, and every patient receives a personalized treatment plan created by a team of medical professionals dedicated to their care and recovery. Our occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists often play an important role in helping patients regain independence and quality of life following a stroke.