Monday, January 9th, 2017
The idea of a stroke can be frightening because it comes without warning and can cause a number of life-altering disabilities. Unfortunately, nearly 800,000 people will experience a new or recurrent stroke every year, and stroke is a leading cause of disability in the United States.
While stroke is a leading cause of disability, it is also the leading cause of preventable disability. In fact, research shows that up to 80 percent of strokes could have been prevented.
By understanding the root causes of a stroke you can minimize your risk of having one. Below, we cover the different types of strokes that can occur as well as their causes and risk factors, so you can be better educated on how to recognize and prevent them.
Many people think of a stroke as one kind of medical emergency, but there are actually three different types of stroke:
Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the rest of the brain. This causes a compression of the brain tissue when the blood accumulates. It’s the second most common kind of stroke.
There are two classifications of weakened blood vessels that will lead to a hemorrhagic stroke:
An Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. It occurs due to a blood-vessel obstruction in a region of the brain. This will typically happen because of a condition known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis leads to the development of fatty tissues lining the blood-vessel walls.
When a piece of this fatty tissue breaks free, two events can occur that lead to a stroke:
A Transient Ischemic Stroke is also called a mini-stroke or a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack). It should be seen as a warning stroke because it is a sign that a full-blown stroke may strike in the future.
This kind of stroke is caused by a clot that enters the brain. A TIA usually lasts no longer than a minute, and the symptoms will be short-lived as well. It leaves no lasting damage to the brain.
It’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of a stroke as soon as possible. The quicker you can spot them, the sooner you’ll receive medical attention and the better your chances of recovery are.
The symptoms are generally the same regardless of the type of stroke. The F.A.S.T. guide is an easy way to remember the signs of a stroke and check on a possible stroke victim.
A stroke can happen at any time, but if an individual has any of the risk factors below, their likelihood of experiencing one is higher.
Keep in mind, there are several major risk factors that lead to a stroke. This list includes common ones that can also lead to heart attack. In the final section, we discuss the way to minimize these risk factors.
Lifestyle risk factors have to do with your habits and the way you live in general. If your lifestyle includes any of the following, your risk for stroke is higher:
If you’re currently suffering from any of the following medical ailments, you have increased risk for stroke:
Unfortunately, some people inherit a higher risk of stroke, despite lifestyle and medical factors. The most common genetic risk factors are:
The best way to prevent strokes is to minimize the risk factors detailed above. Some risk factors, such as genetics, family history, or having pre-existing medical conditions, can’t be helped.
Fortunately, there are medical conditions that can be treated and lifestyle factors changed to reduce the likelihood of stroke.
Common ways of decreasing your stroke risk that are under your control include:
A stroke can be a scary and life-altering experience. By reducing any existing risk factors, you’ll minimize the chances of this event occurring in both your life and the lives of those you love.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by the Saebo website is solely at your own risk.