Recognizing The Signs Of A Stroke

Recognizing The Signs Of A Stroke | Sol Speech And Language Therapy In Austin Texas

Have you or a loved one experienced a stroke?

If so, it’s likely it affected your ability to communicate.

A stroke occurs when the brain doesn’t receive oxygen due to a blockage in its blood supply or a ruptured blood vessel.

This can cause significant damage to various parts of your brain and can affect many of your abilities.

A stroke can cause speech and language impairment, but speech therapy can help you relearn how to speak.

Speech therapy can also help teach you new ways to communicate if verbal communication is too difficult.

At Sol Speech And Language Therapy, our speech therapy clinics provide adult speech therapy to help those who’ve had a stroke that has affected their speech.

But when it comes to the effects of a stroke, seconds count.

The longer it takes for someone to get medical attention for a stroke, the more serious its effects will be.

So while speech therapy for stroke recovery can help, it’s also important to recognize the signs of a stroke.

In today’s article, we’ll discuss how to identify a stroke, what some of the associated risk factors are, and what you can do to decrease your risk.

What Happens During A Stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is blocked, or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds.

As a result, blood and oxygen are unable to reach the brain’s tissues.

Brain tissue and cells require oxygen to function.

Without oxygen, they begin to die rapidly.

This can lead to brain damage, permanent disability, or death.

There are three main types of stroke.

A hemorrhagic stroke is the result of a burst blood vessel that bleeds into the brain.

An ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke and is the result of a blockage in the artery that prevents blood from reaching the brain.

The blockage can be caused by plaque build up or a clot.

Transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is the result of a blood clot, but one that generally reverses on its own.

Can You Tell If Someone Is Having A Stroke?

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of stroke in order to get help right away.

Many people often question whether or not they’re experiencing symptoms of a stroke.

If you experience any unusual symptoms, it’s a good idea to seek immediate help.

To help you more easily be aware and remember what the symptoms of a stroke are, use the acronym FAST.

FAST stands for face, arms, speech, and time.

Using this acronym can help you identify if someone is having a stroke and seek emergency medical assistance right away.

F – Face

Does one side of their face droop when they smile?

A – Arms

Does one of their arms come back down when they raise both of their arms?

S – Speech

Do they have slurred or irregular speech?

T – Time

Time is of the essence.

The earlier a person having a stroke receives medical attention, the higher chance they have of preventing serious damage or permanent disability.

Ideally they should receive treatment within three hours of their first stroke symptom.

Other Signs

Other symptoms of stroke to look out for can include:

  • Confusion or lack of responsiveness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Loss of vision
  • Severe headaches
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Trouble walking
  • Facial numbness
  • Weakness on one side of the body

What Puts You At Risk Of A Stroke?

Being aware and understanding the risk factors that are associated with a stroke can help you take steps towards reducing the risk factors that are in your control.

While there are many things that can contribute to the risk of stroke, today we’ll look at some of the main associated factors.

Keep reading to learn more about what puts you at risk of a stroke and what you can do to reduce it.

What Happens During A Stroke? | Sol Speech And Language Therapy In Austin Texas

1. Smoking

Smoking cigarettes contributes to your risk of a stroke.

Smoking can cause damage to your heart and blood vessels.

It can also cause clots to form more rapidly.

This is because it increases the amount of plaque in your arteries and thickens your blood.

Nicotine, which is the stimulant in tobacco smoke, also increases your blood pressure.

Quitting smoking, alongside eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, can significantly reduce your risk of a stroke.

2. Unmanaged Diabetes

A 2023 paper by Mosenzon Et. Al. talks about diabetes as an independent risk of stroke.

Your risk of stroke is higher if you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

High blood sugar can damage your blood vessels and increase the likelihood of clots forming.

However, managing your diabetes can help decrease this risk.

That includes keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure in check, getting enough exercise, and eating a healthy diet.

3. Don’t Drink Too Much

Drinking alcohol is also associated with an increased risk of stroke.

Drinking too much, especially on a regular basis, can cause hypertension.

Heavy alcohol use can also cause plaque to build up in the arteries, which narrows your blood vessels, and puts you at risk of a stroke.

If you are going to drink, do so in moderation.

This means not having more than one alcoholic drink per day.

4. Get Regular Exercise

Living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a number of health issues that can put you at risk of a stroke.

Obesity, and other complications linked to it, such as hypertension and diabetes, increase your risk of a stroke.

Getting regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy body weight and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

It’s recommended to do moderate intensity physical activity about five times a week.

But even going on walks, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or having multiple short workouts rather than long intense ones can help lower stroke risk.

5. Keep Your Blood Pressure Healthy

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, significantly increases your stroke risk.

This is because high blood pressure can cause your arteries to become blocked or burst, leading to a stroke.

Monitoring your blood pressure can help you identify if it’s too high and allow you to make lifestyle changes to lower it.

Some things you can do to lower and maintain a good blood pressure can include:

  • Get more exercise
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce salt in your diet
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

What To Do If Someone Has A Stroke?

Seek medical attention for them right away.

A stroke can be deadly, and seconds count.

The longer it takes to get medical attention, the worse its effects tend to be.

Once they’ve gotten medical attention, speech therapy can help them with any speech or language issues that arise.

Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech And Language Therapy Today

If you or a loved one have had a stroke that affected your speech and language abilities, we can help.

Regardless of what speech or language concerns you have, at Sol Speech & Language Therapy we’ll work with you to help you communicate more effectively.

Book your appointment with Sol Speech And Language Therapy today.

Sol Speech & Language Therapy
6448 E Hwy 290 Suite E-108,
Austin, TX 78723

(512) 368-9488

Sol Speech & Language Therapy
555 Round Rock W Dr E-221,
Round Rock, TX 78681

(512) 808-3953

Sol Speech & Language Therapy offers personalized skilled intervention to those struggling with their speech and language skills. Services offered include screening, consultation, and comprehensive evaluation. We also provide one-on-one and/or group therapy for speech sound disorders, receptive/expressive language delay/disorder, stuttering/cluttering, accent reduction, and much more.