Stroke Education: January 9, 2011

Strokes. They happen more often than you might think. Every 45 seconds, someone in the United Stats has a stroke. And they aren’t just older adults. “There are some people who are relatively young. There are children who have strokes, too,” warns Dr. Gerardo Gamez, a neurologist on the Lee Memorial Health System medical staff.

This year, 700,000 Americans will have a new or reoccurring stroke. 163,000 will die, making this the third leading cause of death in the U.S. In order to change these statistics, Dr. Gamez says everyone should know the signs. “There are multiple symptoms: tingling, numbness, weakness of an extremity, speech problems, visual problems even confusional state.”

These symptoms can last from just 5 minutes to more than an hour. “Unfortunately, a lot of people who symptoms improve within a couple of minutes think that it did not cause any more problems and they ignore it and will not seek medical attention.”

A lot of people think they may just be having a dizzy spell, a common misconception that can open the door for another stroke. The medical community continues to strive to make sure people know everything there is to know. “Even the hospital setting itself has sent out lots of fliers, lots of education.”

High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, even smoking raises your risk of developing a stroke. Just taking a few moments to discuss a lifestyle change can not only educate you, but help prevent you from becoming the next victim.