Stroke Prevention in Seniors


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Strokes are very common, especially among the senior population, and can be prevented both by being able to identify symptoms of a stroke and by taking steps in everyday life to reduce the risk of stroke.

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Stroke Prevention in Seniors

  1. 1. Stroke Prevention in Seniors
  2. 2. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America and a leading causeof adult disability.In fact, the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide indicates thatapproximately 500,000 Americans have strokes each year.Image Credit:
  3. 3. There are generally two categories of stroke, each of which has adifferent cause.Ischemic strokes occur when there is an interruption in the flow ofblood to the brain, almost always due to a clot blocking a blood vessel."About 80% of strokes fall into this category. The remaining 20% arebrain hemorrhages, which occur when a blood vessel in the brainruptures." Image Credit:
  4. 4. Signs of StrokeThe effects of a stroke can vary. For example, according to the NationalStroke Association, someone who has a small stroke may experienceonly minor problems such as weakness of an arm or leg.People who have larger strokes may be paralyzed on one side or losetheir ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes,but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.
  5. 5. Symptoms vary widely depending on the portion of the brain affected,but there are some common signs of a stroke that should throw up ared flag for you to see your doctor immediately about, including but notlimited to:• Slurred speech• Weakness, numbness, or paralysis of the face, arm, or leg (i.e. crooked smile)• Dizziness, loss of balance, or loss of coordination• Numbness on one side of body• Sudden blurring or loss of vision in one or both eyes• Loss of one half of the visual field in one or both eyes
  6. 6. Stroke Prevention in SeniorsResearch has indicated that drinking one or twoalcoholic drinks per day may cut your risk ofstroke in half, but drinking more than thisamount increases your risk. Strokes are verycommon, especially among the seniorpopulation, and can be prevented both by beingable to identify symptoms of a stroke and bytaking steps in everyday life to reduce the riskof stroke.
  7. 7. Here are some actionable items to guide you:• Have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. Reducing your diastolic blood pressure by just a little can cut your risk of stroke nearly in half.• The blood-thinning prescription drug warfarin or aspirin can greatly decrease the risk of stroke.• Have your cholesterol levels checked, ear a low-fat diet and exercise regularly.• Walk, if you can. Staying active can reduce your risk of stroke.• Quit smoking. Ask your doctor about the many strategies available to help you quit. more
  8. 8. • Follow your doctors dietary and medication recommendations for lowering your blood sugar.• Maintain a healthy weight and eat a nutritious and balanced diet.• If you have mechanical heart valves, you should be taking warfarin, and your doctor should do blood tests regularly to make sure the dose is correct.• Although unproven, a diet rich in foods containing vitamin E may reduce the severity of a stroke.For more information about strokes, preventative measures and lifeafter a stroke, visit the National Stroke Association Web site.Reference:
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