February is Heart Health Month, and we want to ensure you do whatever you can to keep your heart strong and healthy. A stroke—which is a sudden loss of brain function—oftentimes occurs during cardiac arrest. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada lists the various ways you can recognize a stroke, and we’re sharing them here too, so that you’ll be better prepared to get someone you love the proper help.
Weakness. This can be a numbing or tingling feeling on the face, arm or leg. In most cases, this occurs on only one side of the body.
Trouble speaking. Difficulty speaking also includes a hard time understanding people, as well as being confused suddenly.
Vision problems. This includes being unable to see (particularly in one eye), as well as having double-vision.
Headaches. The headache is likely to be severe and sudden.
Dizziness. This includes poor coordination, inability to stay balanced, and difficulty walking.
Five risk factors
Yes, smoking, stress, physical inactivity, and other factors can cause a stroke. But there are also factors that are not in one’s control that can increase a person’s chance having one.
Age. The risk of a stroke increases the older one gets, and it is at the age of 65 that most strokes arise.
Gender. Whereas it is men over the age of 55 that are most likely to have a stroke, women are more susceptible to one once they hit menopause.
Ethnicity. Strokes are most likely to occur in First Nations people, people of South Asian descent, and people of African descent, as they have higher incidences of diabetes and high blood pressure.
Family history. One’s risk of a stroke goes up if a parent, child, or sibling has had one before the age of 65.
Prior stroke history. If a person has had a previous stroke, the likelihood of another one increases.