By Anica Oaks
If you are reaching your older years or know someone who’s a senior, it’s especially important to know about the risks of stroke. These risks increase as people get older, and learning how to recognize certain signs will make it possible for you to take quicker action that may be lifesaving. Here are four important things for every aging senior to know about stroke.
Certain Factors Increase Stroke Risk
In addition to aging, there are certain factors that could increase a senior’s chances of having a stroke. Being overweight is unhealthy at any age, but seniors should be especially diligent about maintaining a healthy weight to try to avoid a stroke. Smoking and eating high-sodium foods that increase blood pressure can also raise a senior’s risk of having a stroke. Having obstructive sleep apnea, which is sometimes more common in seniors and can interfere with breathing while trying to sleep, can further increase stroke risk.
Severe Disability Can Result
People who suffer from strokes are often left with major disabilities that make managing everyday life more difficult. Experiencing a stroke may affect your ability to walk, talk and eat without assistance. A stroke can also cause cognitive effects such as difficulty remembering or rationalizing certain thoughts or emotions. A locum tenens stroke doctor in your area can work with you or a loved one who’s suffered a stroke to try to lessen some of the debilitating effects.
Mini-strokes Can Happen
Not all strokes cause major symptoms or need medical attention right away. Also known as a transient ischemic attack (ITA), a mini-stroke occurs when blood flow to a certain part of the brain is obstructed for a short period. Even though not all mini-strokes are immediate cause for concern, they could be signs that a major stroke will occur in the future. Some of the most common signs of a mini-stroke include sudden headaches, dizziness and partial weakness or numbness.
Family History Often Plays a Role
If any of your family members had a stroke, there could be a genetic factor that will increase your chances of having one as well. This is often especially true if any family member had a stroke at a younger age. It’s important to research the medical histories of parents, grandparents and any siblings to determine if the problem runs in your family.
One of the best ways to ensure better health as a senior is to learn about the risks of having a stroke. Knowing these risks will help you take the appropriate measures to keep yourself and any other seniors in your life safer.