According to the CDC, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. The risk does increase with age, but strokes aren’t reserved for our beloved seniors. In fact, 38% of strokes occur in people under 65. Fortunately, quick action can reduce the life-altering consequences of a stroke.
Andrew Lerman, MD, and our team at Gables Neurology in Miami, Florida, offer advanced care for numerous neurological disorders, including migraines, seizures, Parkinson’s, and dementia. Dr. Lerman also specializes in diagnosing and treating strokes.
Thanks to ongoing research and innovations in medical technology, Dr. Lerman is optimistic about the chances of surviving and overcoming temporary brain damage sustained during a stroke. However, positive treatment outcomes depend heavily on how quickly you seek emergency care.
Your brain manages every function in your body and requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients found in the blood to do its job. A stroke reduces or blocks that flow. Brain cells die within minutes of losing their blood supply. As a result, a stroke can make it impossible to move, speak, or think clearly.
The brain damage suffered during a stroke may be temporary or permanent depending on how long your loved one’s brain lacks blood and which areas are affected. Thus, treatment for a stroke focuses on restoring adequate blood supply as quickly as possible to save their life and lessen long-term health complications.
Emergency care depends on the type of stroke your loved one is experiencing, and many therapies have a time limit.
For instance, the most common type of stroke is an ischemic stroke. This type of stroke occurs when blood vessels supplying the brain are narrowed or blocked by a clot or plaque formation. Medications delivered intravenously (via IV) can dissolve a clot if started within three hours of the onset of symptoms.
Symptoms of a stroke can vary and may include one or more of the following:
Dr. Lerman also recommends seeking medical attention if your loved one experiences stroke symptoms that appear to fade over time. This could indicate a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Sometimes called mini-strokes, TIAs often signal a pending stroke that could occur within hours or days.
You may also find the acronym FAST, promoted by the American Stroke Association, helpful when trying to identify the symptoms of stroke in a loved one:
Ask your loved one to smile. Check to see if their smile is even or if one side of their mouth lifts higher than the other.
Can your loved one lift both arms equally, or does one arm drift downward after a moment or not move at all?
Ask your loved one to repeat a simple phrase and evaluate whether their speech is clear, difficult to understand, or nonsensical.
Call 911 immediately if you notice any problems. Be sure to monitor your loved one closely until emergency medical help arrives.
Dr. Lerman develops a recovery plan for your loved one to address complications associated with a stroke, such as physical disability or mood disorders. His strategy may include medications that help prevent future strokes, improve their mood, or reduce their gait instability.
Most people also undergo occupational therapy or physical rehab to restore strength, mobility, and independence.
Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Lerman at Gables Neurology today for expert stroke recovery care that’s always patient-focused.