Stroke is one of the leading causes of serious, long-term disability in the U.S., and the majority of cases occur in people over the age of 65. But the good news is that nearly 80% of strokes are entirely preventable. So how can you prevent a stroke? By being able to identify one if it happens and get to the hospital as soon as possible.
Here is what you need to know about identifying a stroke:
1. Watch your blood pressure. Three out of four people who experience a stroke for the first time report a blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg. High blood pressure is a high risk health condition and a good indicator of a stroke occurrence.
2. If prescribed medication – take it. There are many drugs on the market that can help decrease your chances of developing a blood clot, and therefore reduce your risk of stroke. Ask your doctor if you should be taking a daily blood thinner.
3. Understand the statistics of risk factors. While stroke is a leading cause of death in all Americans, African-Americans have an increased risk. African-Americans are nearly twice as likely to have a stroke, and more likely to have one at a younger age than other races. Likewise, if you are over the age of 65, your chances of having a stroke are also nearly doubled. Know your risk factors and take the necessary precautions.
4. Know what a stroke looks like. Most people who survive a stroke are helped by a friend or family member who knew the signs and symptoms. If you don’t know what they are, remember this acronym: FAST. Face Drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911.
5. Have regular wellness visits. Seeing your doctor regularly will help keep you in-tune with any actionable lifestyle, diet or medication changes you might need to make to stay healthy.
Inter Valley Health Plan hosts free no obligation health education and social classes for Older Adults. For a full list of classes in your area, please visit https://www.ivhp.com/forhealthandliving.
Article From Inter Valley Health Plan