If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By Teresa Bigham/The Hesperian-Beacon—
FLOYD COUNTY – Strokes kills about 140,000 Americans each year, that’s one of every 20 deaths. Someone in the United States has a stoke every 40 seconds and every four minutes someone dies from a stroke.
Every year more than 790,000 people in the United States has a stroke and 185,000 strokes are in people who have had a previous stroke.
Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability.
Anyone including children can have a stroke at any given time. Having one stroke means you have a greater risk of having another stroke.
High blood pressure is the single most important treatable risk factor for strokes. Preventing, diagnosing and controlling it though lifestyle changes and medicine are critical to reducing stroke risks.
Several factors that are beyond your control can increase your risk for a stroke. These include your age, sex and ethnicity. However, there are many habits such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and not getting enough exercise that you can change to lower your stroke risk.
A stroke is sometimes called a brain attack. A stroke occurs when something blocks blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain burst. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or even die. A stroke can cause a lasting brain damage, long term disability or even death.
The brain control movement stores memories and is the source of our thought, emotions and language. The brain also controls many functions of the body like breathing and digestion. To work properly the brain needs oxygen. If something happens to block the flow of blood brain cells start to die because they are not getting oxygen. This is what causes a stroke.
There are two different types of strokes. Ischemic stroke occurs when blood clots or other particles block the blood vessels to the brain. Fatty deposits called plaque can also cause blockages by building up in the blood vessels.
Hemorrhagic stroke is the other type. This occurs when a blood vessel burst in the brain. Blood builds up and damages surrounding brain tissue.
An easy way to remember the most common signs of a stroke and how to respond is the with the acronym F.A.S.T.
F = face drooping: Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?
A = Arm weakness: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does on arm drift downward?
S = Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence? Are the words slurred?
T= Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Stroke treatment can begin in the ambulance.
The person may also be feeling dizzy, have trouble walking or loss of balance and coordination. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes. They may have a severe headache and they could seem confused and a trouble understand others.
If you think that you or someone you know is having a stoke call 9-1-1- immediately. The doctor will perform several tests to diagnose the problem, such as brain imaging, including a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan, test of the brain’s electrical activity and blood flow test.