4 Things Women Need to Know About Stroke
By Dr. Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., M.H.S, Professor of Neurology, Vice Chair of Research, and Stroke Division Chief, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Stroke happens to 1 in 5 women. In the United States, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds. This is unfortunate because most strokes are preventable.
The brain is complex, so not all strokes look alike, but symptoms can come on suddenly. Stroke is a serious health concern for women and can happen to anyone, at any age.
Here are four things every woman should know about stroke.
1. Women have unique risk factors for stroke:
Major risk factors for stroke, such as having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, can happen to anyone. But women have unique risk factors for stroke, including:
Other common symptoms include numbness and tingling on one side of the body; vision loss or trouble seeing; severe dizziness, vertigo, or loss of balance; or sudden severe headache. Women are also more likely to have unique symptoms that can slow down or delay a stroke diagnosis, such as difficulty thinking straight or being excessively sleepy. When these symptoms happen, even when common stroke symptoms are also present, doctors and emergency providers might should consider the potential of stroke right away.
3. Acting quickly during a stroke improves chances of survival and making a full recovery.
F.A.S.T. is not just an acronym; it’s also an important action: Act F.A.S.T. when a stroke happens because treatments need to happen right away. Inform your patients to call 911 if they think they are or someone near them is having a stroke. Advise them not go to sleep or wait to see if the symptoms improve, but to go to the hospital or call their doctor’s office immediately. All of these actions can delay needed stroke treatment.
4. The best way to treat stroke is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here’s what can be done to lead a healthy life and prevent stroke:
Most strokes are preventable and treatable, and preventing stroke starts with knowledge! Talk to your doctor about your unique risks and what steps you can take to lower your risk. Learn more about stroke and how stroke affects women.
507 East Jefferson Street
Brooksville, FL 34601
7341 Spring Hill Drive, #3138
Spring Hill, FL 34606-3138