Stroke: Risk Factors, Warning Signs, Prevention
|One of the most debilitating
medical emergencies affecting older people is a stroke where the flow of blood to
the brain is interrupted and brain cells die. A stroke can leave a loved one unable to
care for themselves for a short time while they recover their independence or for an
extended period of time where they need intensive care and rehabilitation.
What are the risk factors associated with stroke? How can you tell if you or a loved one is suffering from a stroke? What can you do to prevent one?
There are two basic causes of stroke the more common blockage or cerebral thrombosis, or a hemorrhage.
A stroke in the left side of the brain can affect movement in the right side of the body as well as speech, language and memory. It may result in aphasia, or the inability to understand conversation or to communicate with others. Left-side stroke victims may be slow; overly cautious; have short-term memory lapses; be confused or disorganized; or may need help with very simple decisions or tasks.
A stroke in the right side of the brain may affect the left side of the body. Victims may have problems with judgment, especially spatial and perceptual problems; difficulty navigating a wheelchair; may have problems telling the insider from the outside of clothing; may exhibit "one-sided neglect" where they only dress one side of the body; may have difficulty driving a care or taking a walk; or may undergo radical personality change or exaggerate and existing personality trait.
The root of the problem is behavior certain risk factors may contribute to a persons chances of having a stroke. Individuals who have more than one risk factor have an even higher likelihood of experiencing a stroke. The following are the main risk factors.
Symptoms of transient ischemic attacks, or TIA, are transient numbness; temporary blindness; difficulty with speech; loss of strength in a limb; or headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, personality change, forgetfulness, or impaired judgment. It is vital to seek professional medical help and testing if you are experiencing these or other symptoms.
Risk Alert Statistics:
You can take steps to intervene and prevent stroke by:
Source: International Stroke Foundation
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