In the United States, strokes are becoming more common, with three percent of the population having experienced one.
There are two types of stroke: hemorrhagic and ischemic. A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a weakened blood vessel ruptures while an ischemic stroke occurs as a result of a blockage in a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain.
A lot of people don’t know the truth about strokes. Here are some facts that stem from common misconceptions:
Myth: Strokes are rare.
Fact: Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. They are actually quite common, and more than six million Americans have had one, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Myth: Strokes aren’t preventable.
Fact: The International Stroke Study discovered that 90 percent of strokes can be attributed to vascular risk factors. These factors include obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, which are things that can be prevented.
Myth: Strokes only happen to elderly people.
Fact: There are an increasing number of strokes happening to people between the ages of 18 and 65, which is linked to the high blood pressure and obesity that is growing in that age group. However, a person’s risk for stroke does increase with age.
Myth: Strokes aren’t hereditary. Fact: The vascular risk factors for stroke have a genetic component, so they can run in families.
Myth: Smoking doesn’t affect your chances of having a stroke.
Fact: For both first-time and recurrent strokes, smoking is one of the biggest risk factors.
Myth: A stroke takes place in the heart.
Fact: If blood supply to the brain is cut off from a blood clot or a disease of the blood vessels, than a stroke takes place. Therefore, strokes take place in the brain.
Myth: Strokes can’t be treated.
Fact: If strokes are caused by a clot, then they can be treated. If a person gets treated within four and a half hours of the onset of stroke symptoms, then a medication can be administered which can prevent or possibly reverse damage.
Myth: Stroke recovery only happens in the first few months after a stroke.
Fact: Recovery can last up to two years. Most of the healing does take place in the first few months, however.
Myth: The most common sign of stroke is pain.
Fact: The most common symptoms of stroke include double vision, confusion, numbness or weakness on one side, lack of coordination and trouble understanding what someone is saying. If you or someone is showing these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Myth: If stroke symptoms pass, you don’t need treatment.
Fact: A transient ischemic attack is when a blood vessel that was blocked opens before it can cause permanent damage. Someone who experiences this has a risk of having a stroke within the week, however.
Snyder and Wenner, P.C.602-224-0005
Source: Everyday Health