June is Stroke Awareness Month

WHAT IS STROKE?

A stroke occurs when blood stops flowing to any part of the brain, thereby damaging brain cells. The effects of a stroke depend on the area of the brain that was damaged and the extent of the damage done.

The brain is the control centre of the body. It controls how you think, feel, communicate, and move. Knowing how your brain works can help you understand your stroke.

THREE TYPES OF STROKES

Ischemic stroke

An Ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage or clot in a blood vessel in the brain. The blockage can be caused when a substance called plaque builds up on the interior wall of an artery.

Hemorrhagic stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke is caused when an artery in the brain breaks open. The interrupted blood flow causes damage to the brain. High blood pressure weakens arteries over time and is a major cause of hemorrhagic stroke.

Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

A Transient ischemic attack is caused by a small clot that briefly blocks an artery. It is sometimes called a mini-stroke or warning stroke. No lasting damage occurs, but TIAs are an important warning that a more serious stroke may occur soon.

SIGNS OF STROKE

Stroke is a medical emergency. If you experience any of these signs, call 9-1-1. Do not drive to the hospital. An ambulance will get you to the best hospital for stroke care.

Face: is it drooping?
Arms: can you raise both?
Speech: is I slurred or jumbled?
Time: to call 9-1-1 right away!

PREVENTION IS KEY

8 in 10 cases of premature heart disease & stroke is preventable through healthy lifestyle behaviours. Many risk factors for heart disease and stroke can be controlled via the following preventative measures:

  • Eat well
  • Get moving
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce stress