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What should you know about strokes?

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Quick Answer

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off, depriving the brain of oxygen and causing brain cell death, according to the American Stroke Association. This can lead to loss of muscle control, loss of memory and other problems, especially if left untreated. Around 800,000 people experience a stroke each year, which is one stroke every 40 seconds, and stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.

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Full Answer

Knowing the symptoms of stroke is important. Symptoms of stroke include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, leg or arm on one side of the body, unexplained dizziness and sudden falls, according to WebMD. Sudden dimness of vision, particularly when limited to one eye, is an additional symptom, as is abrupt vision loss or loss of sensation, coordination, strength, speech or understanding of speech. Loss of balance, sometimes along with fever, nausea, vomiting, hiccups and trouble swallowing, can also indicate a stroke. Some people experience a brief loss of consciousness when experiencing a stroke.

Time is of the essence when diagnosing and treating a stroke, and early onset of treatment may minimize the disabilities caused by stroke or prevent death from stroke. Urgent care can be crucial to surviving a stroke and recuperating from its effects.

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