A stroke is a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain that causes damage to brain cells. There are also different types of strokes. An ischemic stroke, that accounts for around 80% of strokes, is caused by an abrupt blockage of arteries leading to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts and there is bleeding into brain tissue. Although strokes can happen at any age, nearly 3/4 of strokes occur in people who are 65 and older. With those numbers, prevention has been focused on that age group. But, during the past decade, strokes have increased over 40% in the 18-34 age group.
Identification Is Crucial
Stroke identification has helped decrease deaths. Since there is an increase of stroke with younger people, education is needed for this group with identifying symptoms.
Symptoms of stroke include difficulty walking, trouble speaking and understanding, as well as paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg. Also consider these indicators…paralysis of one side of the body, overactive reflexes, stiff muscles or paralysis with weak muscles, slurred speech or speech loss, blurred or double vision, sudden vision loss, and pins and needle sensation or loss of sensation. Also common: difficulty swallowing, headache, inability to understand, mental confusion, or rapid involuntary eye movement.
A stroke is a medical emergency. Knowing the signs of stroke helps decrease the chance of death by receiving treatment quicker.
Decrease Your Risks
But even knowing the signs isn’t enough, prevention is also crucial.
Since this age group is younger, it is important that blood pressure be checked regularly. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke by damaging and weakening your brain’s blood vessels, causing them to narrow, rupture or leak. High blood pressure can also cause blood clots to form in the arteries leading to your brain, blocking blood flow and potentially causing a stroke.
Cholesterol should also be regularly checked. Cholesterol is the fatty substance in the blood. It can be either produced by the body or be found in food. High cholesterol in the arteries can block normal flow to the brain and cause a stroke.
Besides regular checkups, testing these levels, smoking should be stopped and exercise should be a normal routine to help prevent stroke.