Many men and women who grew up fans of the young sensation have been touched by the passing of former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Luke Perry. He was adored by Generation X, who are now shocked at his passing. Not only because it highlights something that could happen to any of us, but also because they lost someone they held in high regard. Not much older than the devoted viewers of his show, Perry passed away from a massive stroke at the age of 52.
Stroke is the fifth most common cause of death in the US, taking 140,000 lives annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the US, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds, and a stroke-related death occurs every 4 minutes. In the United States, around 795,000 people have a stroke every year. Around 610,000 of those 795,000 are first-time strokes.
In the United States, strokes occur in those who have already had one in about 1 in 4 cases. However, strokes can occur at any age, those 65 and over account for approximately three-quarters of all cases.
You must be aware of these eight early indications of a stroke in order to spot them and seek assistance to lessen the effects of this potentially fatal occurrence. The American Stroke Association recommends spotting the first three warning signs to know when to dial 9-1-1, which together make up the four-letter acronym F.A.S.T.
- A drooping face
Face drooping is a warning indicator of a stroke, as terrifying as it may sound. Facial paralysis, a condition that results in one side of the face drooping, feeling numb, and looking uneven, is what causes this. Because the nerves in the brain that regulate the muscles in the face have been damaged, this kind of paralysis occurs during a stroke. What kind of harm has been done to the brain cells depends on the type of stroke. Lack of oxygen or excessive pressure from bleeding on the brain could be the cause. In each instance, the first brain cells to start dying only take a few minutes.
According to Caitlin Loomis, MD, and Michael T. Mullen, MD, there are various brain or brainstem regions that, when impacted by stroke, may result in facial paralysis or drooping. Brain strokes only affect the mouth; they have no effect on the eyes or forehead. The lips, eyes, and forehead are typically affected by brainstem strokes, causing the entire side of the face to droop.
- One-sided body weakness in the arms
A stroke may be present if you have abrupt numbness or weakness in an arm. According to John Hopkins Medicine, the oxygen shortage in a region of the brain that causes stroke can also result in paralysis or weakness of one or more arm or shoulder muscles. Doctors frequently advise patients to extend both arms in order to identify a stroke. Weakness in one arm on one side is shown by the arm sliding downward.
- Problems with speech
Aphasia is the term for speech impairment brought on by a stroke. It happens when a stroke damages the area of the brain involved in speech and language. The National Aphasia Association estimates that between 25 and 40 percent of people who had a stroke also have aphasia. Having aphasia makes it difficult to understand or use words, which affects speaking.
“Time to call 9-1-1” is represented by the FAST acronym’s final letter. Call 9-1-1 and rush the person to the hospital as soon as they exhibit any of the first three symptoms, even if they go away.
Additional stroke signs and symptoms include:
- Vision Issues in One or Both Eyes
Another stroke warning symptom is sudden blurred vision or double vision. The vision-related nerves can be harmed by stroke. Each eye’s nerves are near together. One side of the brain is typically affected by a stroke. Both eyes are impacted because the brain receives input from the nerves from both eyes at the same time. In other words, if the stroke impairs the left brain, the right eye’s vision will also be affected. When nerve fibers that transmit vision are injured, vision may be less clear or appear obstructed. Damage to the nerves that move and maintain alignment of the eyes results in double vision.
- Unexpected Trouble Walking, lightheadedness, instability, or coordination
Stroke patients may also experience problems with their coordination, balance, or walking. Ataxia is the medical term for the disorder that develops when a stroke damages the area of the brain that regulates movement in the body. Signals from the brain tell the muscles to move in the direction of walking. These impulses struggle to reach the limbs due to the stroke’s negative effects on the brain and nerves. This ultimately makes it difficult for someone to walk.
- An Unknown Sudden Severe Headache
A stroke may be indicated by an unexpectedly strong, abrupt headache. During some strokes, arteries in the brain break, resulting in bleeding and pressure on the brain. The blood vessels burst, causing the headache. The location of the headache pain can reveal where in the brain the stroke is occurring.
- Sudden Perplexity or Comprehension Issues
When the reasoning and judgmental parts of the brain are affected by a stroke, abrupt bewilderment during a stroke might happen. Brain damage after a stroke may have a significant influence on cognitive function, depending on how serious the stroke was. Vascular dementia is a long-term sign of poor blood flow to the brain or reduced blood flow to the brain.