Strokes are the 4th leading cause of death in the USA. About 800,000 people have a stroke each year. That's one person every 4 seconds! Also, more women have strokes than men. 60% of all strokes occur in women, so as a woman this is important information to have and share.
There are three main kinds of stroke; ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also referred to as mini-strokes (this is the kind I had). You can learn more about each of these HERE!
So what are the 5 warning signs of a stroke?
1. Confusion, including trouble with speaking and understanding
2. Headache, possibly with altered consciousness or vomiting
3. Numbness of the face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body
4. Trouble with seeing, in one or both eyes ~ this includes double vision
5. Trouble with walking, including dizziness and lack of coordination.
Things you can do to evaluate if a person had a stroke are:
1. Ask them to speak. ~ If they have trouble speaking this is a very good sign they need to be seen immediately.
2. Ask them to raise both arms up ~ If a stroke has occurred, chances are they will only be able to raise on arm.
3. Ask the person to smile ~ You will notice immediately if there is numbness on one side of their face.
4. Ask them to stick out their tongue ~ With a stroke, their tongue will fall to one side or the other because of numbness.
5. Ask them if they are dizzy and having trouble seeing ~ lingering dizziness and double vision or sudden blurred vision is a good indication of stroke.
When I had my stroke I was not seen by a neurologist for several days since even my medical doctor did not think what I was experiencing was serious. A stroke can affect even just one small nerve and cause life-changing things. That's what happened to me. One tiny nerve to my left eye was damaged and caused the double vision. My eye has healed most of the way, but I still have 15-20% damage to it. If I had been seen right away, it would be significantly less if there at all!
Learn the warning signs. Print off the flyer above so you can keep it handy in your home. Become aware! You may just be able to save a life, even your own!