And so are the warning signs of stroke. A stroke may be caused by a:
- Blockage of a blood vessel within the brain (cerebral infarction)
- Rupture of a blood vessel within the brain (cerebral haemorrhage), or
- Rupture of a blood vessel into the space surrounding the brain (subarachnoid haemorrhage).
Every stroke is different.
The symptoms and effects vary accordingly to the part of the brain affected. While there is no cure for stroke, the likelihood of having a stroke can be reduced by addressing risk factors, symptom recognition and early treatment.
The physical changes that cause a stroke usually take place over many years. Some people are born with a higher risk of having a stroke. Age, sex, race and having had a prior stroke are risk factors that can’t be changed.
High blood pressure, heart disease, mini strokes (TIAs) and the build-up of fatty deposits and cholesterol on the artery walls (atherosclerosis) are risk factors that can be reduced by changes to your lifestyle and good medical care.
The following tips are helpful in reducing the risk of a stroke;
- Visit your doctor to have your blood pressure checked
- Control your cholesterol
- Stop smoking
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Exercise regularly
- Stay within the recommended weight/height range
- Eat a healthy diet, reduce fatty and salty food
- Check for diabetes
- Balance work and leisure time