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How to Recognize and Prevent a Stroke

When a person has a stroke, the brain stops getting oxygen and nutrients and brain cells begin to die. The damage that results can affect the entire body, causing mild to severe paralysis, problems with thinking or speaking, and emotional difficulties.

Early identification and prompt action are truly brain-savers. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately:

  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, leg, or especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking, or understanding speech
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headaches with no known cause

Although your stroke risk is determined by some factors out of your control, such as your family history, you can help the odds by taking charge of the factors you can control: managing high blood pressure, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.

For more information about stroke symptoms and prevention, please visit:

National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

NIHSeniorhealth — Stroke

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