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Nowadays strokes rank fifth among the most common death causes in the US. It kills about 130 000 Americans each year. A stroke is the main culprit of disability in our modern society.

Nobody is immune to strokes. Specialists say that those who smoke, don’t manage hypertension, consume too much alcohol, have increased blood cholesterol levels and history of heart disease are more likely to experience a “brain attack”.

Strokes occur if any of the arteries, which supply oxygenated blood to the brain, gets occluded (ischemic stroke) or tears (hemorrhagic stroke). If this happens, certain brain areas become damaged and can’t perform their properly.

A transient ischemic attack is a warning sign of the major stroke that develops when the brain arteries get blocked for a short period of time. It has the same symptoms as an ischemic stroke but they pass within several minutes.

TIA (also called “mini-stroke”) usually precedes complete artery blockage and ischemic stroke occurrence. Stroke signs and symptoms can vary depending on the affected brain region, on the size of damage and on the type of injury.

About 80% of strokes are caused by artery clogging (ischemic type). It’s really important to recognize a stroke as soon as possible. The earlier a person gets qualified help, the higher their chances of successful treatment and full recovery.

Doctors say that sometimes warning signs of the brain artery blockage become apparent several days and even weeks before stroke occurs.

Seek medical help immediately if you’ve noticed any of these symptoms about yourself or loved ones:

#1. Numbness, tingling and weakness in the face, arms, legs (usually on one side of person’s body)

#2. Vision problems, which develop abruptly

#3. Loss of coordination, unsteadiness

#4. Dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting

#5. Intensive headache, which begin suddenly without reason

#6. Speaking and understanding troubles

#7. Shortness of breath

You’re still able to prevent a stroke with simple lifestyle changes. By quitting tobacco consumption, following a healthy diet and losing weight you can lower your hazards of a stroke and premature death.

It’s also important to keep your blood pressure under control and take your prescribed medications regularly to avoid unwanted consequences.