How to Recognize if you or a Loved One is Having a Stroke
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Strokes just don't happen to old people. They happen to people of all ages and lifestyles. Your California health insurance agent wants you to understand stroke warning signs as well as actions to take in order to protect yourself or a loved one in such an event. Learning how to recognize if you or a loved one is having a stroke will initiate rapid response that may help avoid debilitating medical conditions as well as save a life.
A stroke is caused when an artery to the brain is blocked. Because blood vessels carry vital oxygen and nutrients to the brain and other organs, any blockage may prove detrimental and may even cause death. A common type of stroke is called a TIA – a transient ischemic attack. These are considered “little” strokes and sometimes may preclude a larger one. TIAs involve a temporary clot that momentarily blocks blood flow to any part of the brain, and may be recognized by:
TIAs don’t typically cause any type of brain damage because they are fleeting - often lasting from several seconds to about a minute - and fast. However, large blood clots or blood vessel constriction can lead to devastating strokes that cause irreparable brain damage. Such strokes often last as long as five minutes and may appear with sudden and noticeable changes such as drooping or “freezing” of the facial muscles.
Fast response to a possible stroke is essential. Studies have shown that those who immediately recognize the signs of a stroke seek emergency medical help and rapid diagnoses respond better to treatments than those who don’t.
Remember that you or a loved one experiencing a stroke may not notice all the symptoms mentioned above. The symptoms may go away. However, don’t ignore such symptoms. As soon as possible, take notes regarding when the symptoms started and how long they lasted. Don’t delay treatment! California health insurance agents know that many individuals write off such symptoms to stress, migraines and anxiety, but individuals who have experienced brief TIAs are three times more likely to suffer from a major stroke than those who don’t.
Medical treatments for minor strokes have shown that tissue plasminogen activator clot-busting drug (known as tPA), when given within three hours of a TIA, can help reduce long-term damage and disability.
How can you prevent a stroke? While it’s impossible to guarantee that, you can do yourself and your vital organs a favor by living a healthy, active lifestyle. Don’t smoke, get your blood pressure and cholesterol under control and get moderate amounts of exercise.
Take the time to learn about preventative measures and health habits that may reduce the chances of you or a loved one from suffering from TIAs, major strokes, and heart attack. After all, you’ve only got one body. Make it work for you.
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