Senior health: Stroke prevention and awareness
Understanding the relationship between daily habits and stroke prevention can be helpful to seniors who wish to maintain good health as they grow older. Because strokes can be triggered by a number of medical conditions, as well as activities within an individual’s control, awareness of and changes to routines can greatly benefit senior health.
As research continues to unravel the complexity of a stroke, medical professionals are able to identify and make recommended changes to potential risks in a senior’s lifestyle. Chances of having a stroke are increased with untreated or uncontrolled medical conditions, like the ones listed below.
- High blood pressure can cause arteries to tear, which in turn promote the formation of blood clots.
- High cholesterol can build up and narrow arteries, making it an ideal location for blood clots to form.
- Diabetes can lead to plaque accumulation and an increased risk of blood clots.
- Depression. Although medical professionals do not fully understand why depression is linked to an increased risk of stroke, there is some speculation that depression may increase stress hormones, leading to the inflammation of blood vessels.
Prevention: Lifestyle changes
Cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet remain top advice for modifying many unhealthy lifestyles, and it can go a long way in preventing a stroke in seniors. Kicking bad habits and anxieties, like the ones listed below, may eliminate hypertension and high cholesterol, both of which are well-known stroke risks.
- Chronic stress
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Awareness: Stroke causes and signs
Strokes are brought on by clots that disrupt the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, as well as when a vein or artery in the brain rips open and bleeds. When one of these two things happens, the body will exhibit abrupt changes. While stroke symptoms will differ from person to person, there are several familiar ones that can be used when identifying a stroke. Seniors may experience a sudden headache, feel numb or weak in their face or limbs, or have issues with their speech or vision. Women are more likely to experience symptoms not usually exhibited in men, but these are also a cause for concern.
- Aches in the chest, limb or face may occur in women.
- Nausea and vomiting is more likely to be experienced by women.
- TIA strokes are often a warning sign of an impending stroke and occur up to one week prior in both men and women.