May is National Stroke Awareness Month
Even though strokes are common, many people remain unaware of the symptoms or the fact that it can strike at any age. This is one reason that President George W. Bush declared May as National Stroke Awareness Month back in 1989. Keep reading to learn about the statistics, warning signs and risk factors that can occur.
Stroke Statistics in the United States
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides detailed information about the categories of people who suffer this serious brain condition. Some of the most important facts you should know about stroke include:
- Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the fifth-leading cause of death.
- Approximately 75 percent of people who have a stroke each year have never had one in the past.
- Half of stroke survivors over age 65 live with a permanent disability.
- African Americans experience first strokes at approximately twice the rate of Caucasians.
Common Warning Signs of a Stroke
It’s essential to know the symptoms of a stroke because every minute of delay in seeking help makes it much more likely the victim will suffer permanent brain damage or die. Indications that might point to a stroke include:
- Feeling weak or numb on one half of the body, which is usually an arm, leg or the face
- Severe or sudden headache
- Appearing confused
- Difficulty speaking
- Extremely blurred vision in one or both eyes
- Dizziness, difficulty walking or loss of coordination
Stroke Risk Factors
The good news about strokes is that you can take several steps to prevent them from happening. That includes controlling these risk factors:
- Eating a diet high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol
- Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages per day
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Having a body weight in the obese range, which is a body mass index above 30
Living at Home After a Stroke
The American Stroke Association indicates that most stroke survivors are able to return home and resume many of the activities they did before the stroke. Depending on the severity of the stroke, patients and family need to consider the patient's ability to care for themselves, ability to follow medical advice and the availability of a caregiver when deciding if home is safe for the patient.
If you or a loved one suffered a stroke, call Miracle Health Care at 614-237-7702 to see if you would benefit from home health services.