Archive for Thursday, May 13, 2010

Letters: May is stroke month

May 13, 2010

To the editor:

Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the United States and a major cause of severe, long-term disability. In fact, more than 700,000 people suffer a stroke each year — about one person every 45 seconds.

May is American Stroke Month. This is an important opportunity to highlight the risk factors and warning signs for stroke, and to emphasize that seeking immediate treatment can mean the difference between life and death.

To help prevent a stroke, the American Stroke Association recommends the following. Maintain a healthy weight through diet and physical activity; control high blood pressure; do not smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke. Treat disorders that increase the risk of stroke, such as diabetes, irregular heartbeat and heart failure.

Signs of stroke include the sudden appearance of any of the following: weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body; dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye; loss of speech, trouble talking or comprehending speech; severe headache with no apparent cause; unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or a fall. If even one of these symptoms is experienced or observed, it is crucial medical attention is sought immediately by calling 911.

I encourage your readers to pause during American Stroke Month and consider their health.

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