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Sunday, May 24, 2020

20 Early Signs Of Stroke

20 Early Signs Of Stroke

In the U.S. and Canada, stroke is the third-leading cause of death. A stroke occurs when blood flow into the brain is interrupted (ischemic stroke) or when blood vessels in the brain rupture (hemorrhagic stroke).

Even when a stroke is not fatal, there are often lifelong effects. Stroke survivors may have difficulty paying attention, suffer memory loss, or find it hard to express themselves.

Fortunately, there are several early signs of stroke. If you experience one of these signs or are worried about your health, call 911. The Heart and Stroke Foundation advises against driving your car. It's safer to rely on an ambulance.

If you witness someone having a stroke, call for help and wait for the ambulance to arrive. Ask the person to lie down, or help them lie down. Make sure their airways are clear. The 911 operator will be able to help you.

➽ Sagging face

The acronym FAST can help you easily identify the common first signs of stroke in men and women. Each letter represents a symptom. “F” stands for the face that may sag or go numb, usually on one side more than the other.

Someone manifesting this symptom will be unable to smile normally. One corner of their mouth will tend to droop.

➽ Inability to lift your arms normally

The second letter of the acronym FAST, “A”, refers to the arms—the inability to lift and hold them up as usual. A stroke sufferer may also feel numbness or weakness in one of their arms. If they are asked to lift their arms to a horizontal position, one of their arms will be less straight than the other.
No longer able to pronounce simple words correctly

Speech is the third sign from the acronym FAST. People suffering a stroke will have difficulty with language, specifically articulating simple words.

One way to know if you are really seeing early signs of a stroke is to ask the person to repeat a simple sentence several times. Make sure it's a sentence they are usually able to say. If they are incapable or their health worries you, call for help. In fact, the “T” in FAST stands for time and means that you should call 911 right away.

➽ Confusion

In addition to losing the ability to pronounce simple words, someone suffering a stroke will appear confused. They will have difficulty finding the right words to express themselves and will be unable to understand what others are saying. This confusion is caused by insufficient blood flow to the area of the brain responsible for language.

➽ Difficulty seeing

Strokes can sometimes affect your vision, suddenly causing blurry vision or partial or complete vision loss. One or both eyes may be affected.

➽ Difficulty walking

A stroke occasionally impairs the areas of the brain responsible for balance and coordination. Stroke victims can find it difficult to walk or stand. They may suddenly feel dizzy.

Problems with your ears may also result in a loss of balance. Either way, a sudden loss of equilibrium warrants an immediate trip to the doctor.

➽ One side of your body goes numb

Stroke victims may experience sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.

➽ Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

Some early signs of stroke that deserve particular attention occur more often in women. Women often experience symptoms that are less “traditional” than those exhibited by men. For example, women may have difficulty breathing or feel short of breath before the onset of a stroke.

Respiratory problems do not occur only in cases of stroke. Nevertheless, if this symptom appears suddenly and without a good reason (you've just run to catch the bus, for example), it's best to seek help.

➽ Hallucinations

Hallucinations are a sign of stroke seen more often in women than men. Some women continue to experience hallucinations several weeks, or even years, after suffering a stroke.

Violent headaches

In some cases, strokes cause violent headaches that are, in general, more painful than usual. This symptom occurs in both men and women.

➽ Nausea

Few people associate nausea with strokes. Other, more common causes come to mind, like indigestion, stress, and pregnancy. Nevertheless, several women (fewer men experience this symptom) who have had strokes report feeling nauseated.

➽ Vomiting

Sometimes, nausea becomes so severe that it causes vomiting. When it comes to strokes, this symptom is particularly worrying because, according to one study, patients who vomit have a higher mortality rate than those who don't.

➽ Hiccups

People don't usually panic when they get the hiccups, and why should they? Hiccups are rarely lethal. However, when they occur in combination with other symptoms described in this article, hiccups may indicate the onset of a stroke, especially in women. So, pay attention to your hiccups.

Pain in your face or limbs

Occasionally, numbness and weakness in the face or limbs is accompanied by sudden, unusual, or severe pain. Women are slightly more likely to manifest this symptom than men.

➽ Behavioural changes

Friends and family of someone who has suffered a stroke may have difficulty recognizing them. Often, a stroke victim's behaviour will change, as if they have become another person. In one study, researchers discovered that 44.2% of women and 24.1% of men experienced a “mental status change” before suffering a stroke.

➽ Memory loss

Have you forgotten your cat's name? Can you no longer remember where you live? One of the early signs of stroke is memory loss. Stroke victims are no longer able to recall what they would normally remember. One study suggests that women may be at a higher risk of presenting this symptom during a stroke.

➽ Drowsiness

Before suffering a stroke, you may feel fatigued for an unknown reason. Stroke victims may even fall into a coma if a large part of the brain stem stops receiving blood. Comas can often have prolonged effects. Obviously, if you see someone fall into a coma, don't hesitate to call 911.

➽ Difficulty swallowing

Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, is not a common early sign of stroke. Data from one study showed that only 6.5% of women and 5.8% of men say they found it difficult to swallow prior to suffering a stroke.

On the other hand, the Stroke Association found that after having a stroke, half of all patients experience difficulty swallowing.

➽ Agitation

Women are more likely than men to be agitated during a stroke. Feeling upset may strike suddenly and without cause. When agitation is accompanied by other symptoms mentioned in this article, it's a good idea to seek help.

➽ Muscle soreness

Muscle soreness can sometimes occur along with numbness and pain in the limbs. Some people even lose feeling in their arms or legs.

[ By Expresso / MSN ]

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