Am I at Risk of Having a Stroke?

Strokes are medical emergencies that require immediate action. Quick treatment is pivotal when reducing potential damages and preventing any further complications. A stroke occurs when your brain is deprived of blood flow and oxygen. Brain cells and tissues are highly sensitive to the lack of nutrients when oxygen transported from blood vessels is unavailable. What results is the rapid depletion of cell life within a matter of minutes. 

In a previous article, we outlined the signs of having a stroke. Here — we’ll explain what puts you and others at the most risk. Unfortunately, some factors are passed down through genetics, while others are related to lifestyle choices. Thankfully, with the right preventative treatment and well-equipped knowledge, you can take steps to ensure the longevity of your health and vitality. 

What You Should Know About Strokes

Strokes affect about 800,000 people each year in the U.S. They mostly occur when an artery is cut off of blood flow to an area of the brain. The second type of stroke results when a blood vessel leaks or bursts, spilling into the brain tissue or surrounding areas. Prompt treatment helps prevent severe brain damage, death, or disability. 

So, if you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke, call 911 and seek emergency medical care right away. 

What Determines Your Risk for Developing a Stroke?

Unfortunately, anyone could potentially experience a stroke. However, some factors put you at higher risk than others. 

Some key risk factors include:

  • Age 55 and older
  • African genetic heritage
  • Males
  • Being overweight or obese
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Heavy use of drugs
  • Pre-existing high blood pressure
  • Pre-existing high cholesterol
  • Untreated diabetes
  • Sleep apnea or other sleep disorders
  • Having a predisposition to heart disease
  • Family history of strokes or heart attacks

Getting Help

If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of a stroke, don’t wait. Take action immediately by visiting your local hospital emergency room. A trained medical team will review your symptoms and complete a full physical examination along with several tests to determine if you had a stroke and if so, what type and what damage occurred. Usually, a CT scan or MRI is needed to take photo images of the brain and arteries to gauge blood flow.

It’s crucial to restore blood flow to your brain as quickly as possible. Doctors may use an intravenous clot-dissolving medicine or perform an emergency endovascular procedure involving a catheter. The catheter is used to reach the brain and allow the blockage in the artery to be directly removed.

Doctors can also prescribe many types of emergency medication used to lower blood pressure, prevent blood vessel spasms and prevent seizures. 

Never Lose Hope

Every person’s road to recovery is different. Effective management of a stroke often involves a specialized care team including a neurologist, rehabilitation physician, and others. The goal is always to ensure a comprehensive recovery, retaining as much function as possible. You’re quality of life matters and supporting an independent lifestyle after a stroke is a main part of care treatment plans. Whatever you do, do not despair. 

Avoid mental health decline through negative emotions and instead, seek support from friends and family. Understand that a full recovery will take patience, hard work, and, most of all, time.

South Coast Post Acute is Southern California’s Premier post-acute Partner

Better health and healing are possible with the right professional oversight and daily nutrition. At South Coast Post Acute, we deliver the services needed to restore health, regain autonomy and reduce the occurrences of rehospitalization. 

South Coast Post Acute is here for you, at any age. Our innovative care, experienced staff, and welcoming accommodations combine to bring you the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Southern California’s leading post-acute provider. 

Contact us today for more information on how we can help on your journey back to restored health.

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