The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that around 795,000 Americans experience a stroke each year. Are you at risk to be one of them?

During American Stroke Awareness Month this May, our team at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville wants to share some information about your risk when it comes to a stroke, as well as steps you can take to help prevent a stroke.

Am I at Risk for a Stroke?

The short answer is: yes. Every person is at risk. But some people have a higher risk than others.

There are both controllable and non-controllable risk factors. You can’t control your age, gender or family medical history. But you can take steps to lower your risk of having a stroke by not smoking, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and finding healthy ways to manage your stress.

Warning Signs of a Stroke

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Sudden difficulty walking or dizziness, loss of balance or problems with coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

How Can You Prevent a Stroke?

The key to preventing a stroke is to mitigate your risk factors. So, if you smoke, stop. If you don’t exercise often, change your habits and start getting regular, consistent exercise.

If you have chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, make sure you’re working with your doctor to effectively mange them.

Ways to Prevent a Stroke

  • Lower your blood pressure, if needed.
  • Lose weight, if needed.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Drink only in moderation.
  • Take steps to manage conditions like atrial fibrillation or diabetes.
  • Quit smoking.

If you or a loved one are experiencing stroke symptoms, call 911 for immediate medical attention. For non-emergency medical needs, visit the AFC Urgent Care Knoxville website to book a virtual appointment.