More than 800,000 strokes happen each year in the United States. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and is a major cause of serious disability for adults. A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when something blocks blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die.
It’s important to know the signs of a stroke and get help quickly. Some of the warning signs include:
- Weakness in the face, arm, or leg
- Difficulty speaking
- Vision loss
- Brief loss of consciousness
A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death.
If you think you or a loved one is having a stroke, call 911 immediately and note the time when the first symptoms appeared.
Anyone can have a stroke at any age, but almost three-quarters of all strokes happen in people over 65. Certain factors can increase your chances of having a stroke, like smoking and drinking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and bad eating habits. Up to 80% of strokes may be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle.
Taking advantage of these Medicare preventive services can help: