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HEALTH WATCH: Signs of a Stroke

It happens every forty seconds in the US in fact a stroke is the fifth leading cause of the death in country. May is stroke awareness month.

Dr. Khaled Asi, a neurologist from Aurora Health Care, spoke with CBS 58 about the symptoms of a stroke.

First of all, what is a stroke?

  • A stroke (or "cerebrovascular accident") happens when a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked by a blood clot or a rupture.  The flow of oxygen to that part of the brain is cut off, causing brain cells to start dying. Fast treatment is critical to prevent more damage to the brain - some damage can be irreversible.
  •  A person can also have a "mini stroke" called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). The most common cause of a TIA is hypertension (high blood pressure). Although the blood flow blockage is temporary, TIAs still need immediate medical attention. People who suffer from a TIA can often experience a stroke in the near future. Getting medical care is important to help identify what caused the TIA, treat that cause, and take the necessary steps to prevent a stroke from happening in the future.

What are the warning signs?

Signs and symptoms of a stroke

  •  "Sudden" is the key word to stroke signs, says the ASA. They happen quickly and out of the blue.  Someone who is having a stroke might experience:
  •  Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body (face, arm, or leg)
  •  Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  •  Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness, or loss of balance
  • Severe headache with no known cause

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