The shocking death of 52-year-old actor Luke Perry, who suffered a massive stroke, has raised awareness to the medical affliction and ways to reduce the risk.
While many are in disbelief that Perry suffered a stroke at his age, the reality is that a stroke can happen at any age, even to people in their twenties. When someone is suffering a stroke, that means either a blood vessel in the brain bursts or a blood supply to part of the brain is blocked.
There are two different types of strokes: hemorrhagic and ischemic. According to Southside Regional Medical Center, “A hemorrhagic stroke takes place when excessive bleeding is present in or around the brain. This occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks leaking blood into the brain." While ischemic strokes “happen when the brain does not get enough oxygen-rich blood. Usually this happens due to a blood clot blocking a major artery leading to the brain.”
While both men and women who have a family history of stroke, high blood pressure/high cholesterol, or diabetes are at greater risk to have a stroke, there are some factors that make women more susceptible.
Pregnant women or women who take certain kinds of birth control pills or using hormone replacement therapy are at greater risk.
The best way to reduce the risk of having a stroke is to avoid or quit smoking, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy diet.
Additionally, there are key warning signs to spot when someone is having a stroke.
The signs of a stroke are:
-Numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg – often on one side of the body;
-Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech;
-Trouble seeing with one or both eyes;
-Trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination; and
-Severe headache with no known cause.
The acronym "BE FAST" is what medical professionals encouraged people to use to help spot signs.
Time to call 9-1-1.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing a stroke, call 911 immediately.
(Photo: Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic/Getty Images)