With the type of diet and lifestyle Ghanaians are increasingly living, being able to identify early warning signs related to someone suffering a stroke can be the difference between a full recovery, or severe, life-changing brain damage.
Research has it that for every hour a person suffers a stroke without treatment, the patient's brain ages the equivalent of three-and-a-half years. With the high carb-low exercise lifestyle more people are living now, knowing the early warning signs could make a huge difference. So YEN.com.gh put together a list of signs to let readers know if a loved one (or themselves) may be suffering a stroke without knowing it.
Sudden blurred vision
So you've been reading or watching television for awhile and all of a sudden your vision becomes blurred. This could be nothing, maybe your eyes are just irritated...but it could also be a sign that you're suffering from a stroke. Doctors have stated that a clogged vessel can decrease the amount of oxygen-rich blood from getting to the eyes and causing blurred or double vision.
A sudden numbness of the arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
We've all experienced that feeling where an arm or a leg goes numb because we either slept, or sat on it for too long so when it happens, it's easy to misinterpret the situation. Nevertheless a numb arm or leg may be a sign that you suffering from a stroke and need emergency healthcare...fast. According to Ralph Sacco, an MD at the University of Miami North School of Medicine, decreased blood flow to the brain from arteries that due to clogged arteries causes weakness or numbness in one side of the body.
If you're experiencing difficulties walking due to a lack of balance, don't rush and blame it on the drink you have two hours ago, alcohol doesn't work that way. A lot of the time, a sudden lack of balance is due to a decreased blood flow to the brain. In this case, waiting for the feeling to pass is the worst thing one can do.
Slurred speech or difficulty speaking
very now and then everyone experiences the odd moment where they either lose their train of thought, or have a hard time coming up with the right words...this is normal. What isn't normal is when you go for extended periods of time where you can't think of anything to say or are completely unable to speak. Speech difficulties are a common sign of stroke, and a lot of the time the sufferer doesn't even know it's happening.
A blinding headache
A painful headache could be just a migraine, but with people who don't usually get headaches, this could be a sign of stroke. Dr. Sacco, speaking to Reader's Digest, says a stroke can sometimes feel like a migraine headache because they have the same neurological symptoms.
"I tell people to treat it like a stroke and call for help; let us figure it out.” He said.
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