Having a Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and long-term disability in the United States. It is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is of the essence. Effective treatments, when administered within a small time frame, can help to reduce disability following a stroke.
So you may be asking, how do I know if I am having a stroke?
There are common signs and symptoms for both men and women that may be experiencing a stroke. Common symptoms include:
Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the face, arm, or leg. Often with a stroke, only one side of the body is affected.
Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes. This could be blurred, blackened, or double vision.
Sudden difficulty walking, loss of balance, dizziness, and/or coordination problems.
Sudden confusion and/or trouble speaking or difficulty understanding speech.
A sudden headache that is severe can be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, or even altered consciousness.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is beneficial to know when the symptoms first started to appear! Some treatment options are most successful when given to someone soon after the stroke begins.
In any case, if these symptoms are noticed, it is important to act FAST and do the following to help identify if one is experiencing a stroke:
Ask the person to smile and see if both ends of the lips go up. If one side droops, that can be a sign.
Ask the person to raise both arms. The inability to lift an arm or a downward shift in the arm as it raises compared to the other can be another sign.
Ask the person to talk to you or repeat a simple phrase. Note if the speech is slurred or sounds strange compared to how the person normally speaks.
Time is of the essence in these situations. If you notice any of the above signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
It is crucial that if you are the person experiencing these symptoms, you do not drive yourself to the hospital or let someone else drive you because time is a major factor. It is recommended that you call an ambulance to get medical professionals there to allow treatment to start on the way to the hospital. Driving yourself while experiencing any of these symptoms can be a dangerous thing to do for yourself and others, which is why the best option would be to let medical professionals assist in the transport.
There are two main types of stroke, ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by a piece of plaque or a blood clot blocking blood flow to the brain. This can be a partial or even full block of the artery in the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding within the brain. Symptoms are similar between the two types of stroke.
There are also transient ischemic attacks or “mini-strokes” that have symptoms similar to strokes. If you experience the symptoms described above, but they go away after a few minutes, you may have experienced a transient ischemic attack, also known as a TIA. Although symptoms are brief, this is still a sign of a serious condition. Medical help is necessary to prevent further damage or progression of the condition. Often symptoms of a TIA are dismissed because they are so brief, but paying attention and seeking medical assistance can help save a life. So if you or someone you know has experienced these symptoms, contact a medical professional as soon as possible. These TIAs are often caused by a blockage in the brain, similar to an ischemic stroke.
All types of stroke and/or TIAs are serious and require medical attention immediately, so it is important to act FAST when symptoms occur. Try to note when symptoms first start and let medical professionals know immediately.
Once you are discharged from the hospital and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, it is essential to continue therapy services. This ensures continued progression toward full recovery. Having Physical Therapy services helps maintain your independence and decreases your risk of other issues like potential trips or falls. Wellness 360 specializes in outpatient neuro rehab. Getting set up for your initial evaluation is easy! Just give us a call at 585-259-0782. Check out our additional services at www.wellness360fitness.com.