Prevention of stroke risk for Seniors
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the world.
As you age, your chances of having a stroke are higher, almost doubling every 10 years after the age of 55. About 66% of hospitalized stroke cases are people over 65 years of age. For people who are at least 80 years old, atrial fibrillation can occur. the direct cause of a stroke. AFib, in fact, causes about one in seven strokes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
AFib can increase the chance of a blood clot forming in the heart, which can travel to the brain, resulting in a stroke. It has a five times higher risk of stroke and people with AFib have a higher risk of death if they have a stroke.
Unfortunately, there are no warning signs that you can detect over time when it comes to a stroke. Rather, there are signs that occur immediately. Many seniors report these signs and symptoms just before or during a stroke:
Numbness in the face and limbs. Sudden vision problems in one or both eyes. Severe headaches. Difficulty with communication. Lack of coordination.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Acting quickly is crucial when it comes time. And if you have AFib, it is very important to act quickly.
You can also try to prevent an AFib stroke by talking to your doctor to see how you can manage it and reduce the risk.
Here are some additional ways you can help reduce your risk of stroke as you get older, even if you don’t have AFib.
Exercise regularly. Control your weight. Eat healthy. Alcohol and nicotine should be avoided as they directly affect the brain and nervous system. Control high blood pressure. Control your cholesterol levels.
Although no one is expected to suffer a stroke, and even if you take every precaution to prevent a stroke, sometimes a stroke happens. If you or a loved one has a stroke, it’s important to be quick.
In fact, there is a phrase used to describe the emergent nature of a stroke: “Lost time is the lost brain. Every minute counts.” It basically means that the longer you wait to treat a stroke, the more damage will be done. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a blood clot in a cerebral artery or because a cerebral vessel has burst. As time goes on, so does stroke, and irreversible brain damage can occur.
A good way to remember the signs of a stroke and act quickly is the acronym: BEFAST
- B: Balance: Sudden loss of balance and coordination.
- E: Eyes: Sudden vision problems or blurred vision.
- F: Fallen face: Fallen face on one side or numbness.
- A: Weakness of the arm or leg: numbness, especially on one side of the body.
- S: Difficulty speaking: Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
- T: Time: Stroke is a medical emergency, call 911 immediately and note the time of the first symptom.
Using BEFAST can help save your life or that of a loved one.
These are just some of the ways to help reduce your risk of stroke. Living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of stroke, as well as having an open and honest line of communication with your doctor about your health.