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Prevention: It’s No Stroke of Luck

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 1:42 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Emergency SignThere are two levels of strokes. Both involve the same symptoms, but the first, the mini-stroke, lasts for only a short time.  It can dissipate within five minutes or continue for up to a day. Either way, as the effects lessen, the sufferer’s worry does too. The mini-stroke is ignored or, if treated, considered minor. And this is dangerous. More often than not, small strokes are harbingers of a more serious stroke, one whose effects won’t fade with time and that could possibly lead to death. Therefore, it is vital that even the smallest stroke receive immediate attention. Quickly treating it could reduce the likelihood of a more serious one occurring in the following months.  But this can only occur if those at risk are aware they are having a stroke, and sadly, most aren’t.

In a study of 344 elderly stroke patients, only half knew that they were having a stroke. And even among those that were aware, almost none sought immediate treatment. Most waited for at least three hours, while others delayed medical care for more than a week.  By ignoring or being ignorant of their condition, they were putting themselves in serious danger. Strokes kill 15 million people worldwide. They are the third leading cause of death in the United States. They are not something that can be ignored during, after or even before they occur.  You must know what your risks of having a stroke are. Know what is involved in a stroke – the signs, symptoms  and permanent effects. And finally, know that having a stroke is also known as having a medical emergency. If you experience any of the following, seek medical attention immediately:

• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg*
• Difficulty speaking* or understanding
• Confusion
• Trouble seeing in both or one eye
• Dizziness and loss of balance or coordination
• Sudden, severe headache
• Difficulty walking
• Facial droop*

*Of stroke symptoms, these are the most common and easily recognizable

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