Fortunately, Cerebrovascular Accident (a stroke) can be prevented before the worst. Their main risk factors are linked to behaviors on which prevention is effective. In this article, we will give you 10 tips to prevent a stroke. The recommendations should be followed with the highest degree of diligence, given the dramatic consequences of this type of accident.
What is a stroke?
There are two main types of cerebrovascular accidents (strokes):
- The most frequent are ischemic strokes or cerebral infarction (80% of cases). They happen when a cerebral artery becomes blocked. A region of the brain is then deprived of the vital supply of oxygen. This can cause brain damage which, depending on the duration of the interruption of the blood supply, can be temporary (called a transient ischemic attack) or permanent with destruction of part of the brain tissue (called a heart attack).
- Hemorrhagic strokes are rarer (20% of cases). They occur when a blood vessel supplying the brain ruptures creating either a cerebral hemorrhage or a subarachnoid hemorrhage. The occurrence of a cerebrovascular accident (stroke) can have serious consequences and Is the leading cause of acquired physical disability in adults.
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What can you do to prevent a stroke?
Small, healthy changes in your daily routine can lower your risk of having a stroke.
This list is intended as a guide, including advice on healthy living. It is advisable to discuss some of these aspects with your doctor or health experts and it is essential to follow the more personalized medical advice that they can give you.
- Check your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is above 14/9, discuss with your doctor the possibility of treatment and ask your doctor about your treatments.
- Control your cholesterol. If it’s high, your doctor can help you lower it.
- Reduce salt and certain fats in your diet. Your doctor can help you in the selection of fats to consume.
- Quit smoking.
- Do not consume excess alcohol.
- Exercise and move around. Take advantage of your daily activities to exercise.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations carefully if you have diabetes.
- Take the medications you have been prescribed. If you have any questions about your medications, do not hesitate to ask your doctor.
- Relax and try to avoid being stressed a lot. People who experience high levels of stress or prolonged periods of stress may have increased blood cholesterol or high blood pressure. They may also be more susceptible to atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), a risk factor for having a stroke.
- Continue the dialogue. Ask your doctor how you can further reduce your risk of having a stroke and know the symptoms of a stroke such as:
- Sudden paralysis of the face or sometimes loss of sensitivity of the face, decrease or loss of vision of an eye and/or eyes, double vision.
- Check if the affected person can smile symmetrically (the inability to smile symmetrically on command can be a sign of onset of a stroke).
- Check if the affected person can raise both arms in the same way to the right and left.
- Check to see if the person can speak clearly and understand what you are saying.
- Sudden weakness of an arm or leg. It may be numbness, weakness or total paralysis. In some cases, a stroke (stroke) is manifested by the sudden appearance of an instability of walking, a fall, disorders of balance or dizziness.
- Sudden speech disturbances: complete loss of speech, difficulty in speaking, articulating or understanding what is said, sometimes language becoming incomprehensible.
ALWAYS ACT FAST!
It’s a matter of time. If the person has any of these symptoms, call the emergencies right away!
DON’T IGNORE THESE SYMPTOMS EVEN IF THEY DISAPPEAR SPONTANEOUSLY IN MINUTES OR HOURS.
Some strokes, known as transient ischemic strokes (TIAs), can develop symptoms of this type that disappear within 24 hours. Be careful, the fact that all the symptoms disappear does not mean that it is not serious. A TIA may be the warning sign of a major stroke.
It should always be considered, by you as by the doctors, as a medical emergency!