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What Exactly Is a Stroke?

May is American Stroke Awareness Month. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of disability in the United States. Fortunately, around 80% of strokes are preventable.

Our team at AFC Urgent Care Chelmsford wants you to know what you can do to reduce your risk of stroke, as well as what steps should be taken if you think you or someone you love is experiencing a stroke.

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when a blood vessel is blocked or ruptured. This blood vessel is usually one that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

Therefore, when the blood vessel is blocked or ruptures, the brain is unable to get the oxygen it needs, and, therefore, the brain cells begin to die. There are three different types of stroke—ischemic, hemorrhagic and transient ischemic attack.

Ways Stroke Can Affect the Brain

  • Paralysis on the left and/or right side of the body
  • Speech/language problems
  • Slow, cautious behavioral style
  • Memory loss
  • Vision problems

What Can I Do to Help Prevent a Stroke?

There are a number of ways you can help to lower your risk of experiencing a stroke now and in the future. First, you want to make sure to get to—and maintain—a healthy blood pressure.

Weight loss can help you lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke. Maintain a healthy weight by getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, as well as following a healthy diet.

Treatment of a Stroke

  • Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)
  • Anticoagulants
  • Anti-platelet drugs
  • Statins
  • Blood pressure drugs

If you or someone you know experience stroke symptoms, call 911 for immediate medical care. For non-emergency health needs, AFC Urgent Care Chelmsford is now offering AFC TeleCare services so that you can get the care you need at home.

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