Chances are you know someone who has had a stroke. An estimated 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite how common strokes are, there are a lot of widely believed misconceptions. Unfortunately, not knowing the facts can put a person at bigger risk for experiencing a stroke themselves, or, not being able to help someone else who may be experiencing a stroke.
To help separate fact from fiction, the medical experts at Life Line Screening share the truth about the top misconceptions about stroke:
Misconception: Strokes only happen to older people
Fact: Research found 61 percent of strokes happen in people over the age of 65. That means 39 percent of strokes happen to younger people.
Misconception: Strokes are not a problem in the United States
Fact: You may only know a few people who’ve had a stroke in their life, but someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in the U.S.
Misconception: A stroke will kill you
Fact: Approximately one out of eight strokes results in death within thirty days. The other seven instances leave the person disabled. Stroke is fatal in about 10 to 20 percent of cases and, among survivors, it can cause a host of disabilities, including loss of mobility, impaired speech, and cognitive problems.
Misconception: Strokes cannot be prevented
Fact: Up to 80 percent of strokes could be stopped before they start. Health screenings are an effective way to identify and understand risk factors so they can be properly managed.
Research shows nine out of 10 cardiovascular doctors support preventive health screenings for cardiovascular disease (plaque in the arteries) among patients with key risk factors. To learn more, visit http://www.lifelinescreening.com.
Misconception: Only a doctor can identify a stroke
Fact: Everyone can and should know the signs and symptoms of stroke. By taking quick action, you could save a life.
According to the CDC, the most common signs of stroke are:
* Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
* Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding speech.
* Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
* Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination.
* Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
If you or someone else has any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Understanding the facts about stroke helps empower you to control your own health. Even if risk factors are present, you can take proactive measures to help prevent stroke for yourself and loved ones.