Smoking and Stroke Risk - Topic Overview
Smoking injures blood vessel walls and speeds up hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). As a result, the heart works harder, and blood pressure may increase. Cigarette smoking increases your risk for transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke.Heavy smokers are at greater risk for TIA and stroke. Daily cigarette smoking can increase the risk of stroke by 2½ times.1The risk of stroke and TIA decreases for those who quit smoking. If you smoked less than one pack a day and you quit, within 5 years your risk will be the same as though you had never smoked.1
Stroke - Prevention
For some people, stroke prevention may begin after a transient ischemic attack (TIA) - a warning sign that a stroke may soon occur. Prompt medical attention may help prevent a stroke.
Stroke: Dealing With Depression - Topic Overview
It is common for a person who has had a stroke to feel sad and become depressed about the disabilities caused by the stroke. Sometimes the injury to the brain from the stroke can cause depression. Depression is a serious condition that needs treatment.People who are depressed may: Feel negative, hopeless, or down in the dumps.Have a noticeable loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities. People who are depressed may also:Lose or gain weight.Have decreased or increased appetite.Have difficulty falling asleep or sleep too much. They usually feel tired all the time.Feel worthless or guilty.Be more irritable or angry.Be unable to concentrate, remember, or make decisions as well as they did before the stroke.Have recurring thoughts of death or suicide. If you or your loved one has warning signs of suicide, seek medical help right away.People with depression may be reluctant to seek help, because they feel that it is a sign of personal weakness or a character flaw or that they
Stroke: Speech and Language Problems - Topic Overview
Some people have speech and language problems after a stroke. These problems may involve any or all aspects of language use, such as speaking, reading, writing, and understanding the spoken word. Speech and language problems (aphasia) usually occur when a stroke affects the right side of the body. Trouble communicating can be very frustrating. When you talk to someone who has had a stroke, be patient, understanding, and supportive.The following are tips for helping someone who has speech and language problems:Speak directly to him or her—not to a companion, even if that person is an interpreter—and speak in second, not third, person: How are you feeling today?Maintain eye contact.Speak slowly and simply in a normal tone of voice. People who have speech and language problems are not deaf.Give him or her adequate time to respond.Listen carefully.Focus on what the person is saying, not how he or she is saying it.Don't fill in with a word or sentence unless you are asked.Ask the
Stroke Guide - What Increases Your Risk
Read about diseases or conditions that may make stroke more likely.
Stroke: Preventing Injury in Affected Limbs - Topic Overview
After a stroke, you may not feel temperature, touch, pain, or sharpness on your affected side. You may have:Feelings of heaviness, numbness, tingling, or prickling or greater sensitivity on the affected side.No sense of how your muscles and joints are operating together, which may affect your balance.If you cannot feel an object, you may be more likely to hurt yourself.If you have a tendency to clench your fist on the affected arm, keep your fingernails short and smooth so that you do not cut yourself.If you cannot feel sensations in your feet, cut and file your toenails straight across so that you do not scratch yourself.Soaking your hands and feet may make your nails easier to cut. If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor about the care of your feet.If you cannot feel heat on your affected side, you may be more prone to burns. Tips to prevent burns include the following:Test the temperature of bath water or dishwater using your unaffected side.Bathe and do dishes in lukewarm
Stroke Guide - Treatment Overview
The sooner stroke treatment starts, the better. Get the facts about the treatment of stroke.
Is this topic for you?This topic covers rehabilitation after a stroke. For information on stroke itself, see the topic Stroke.What is stroke rehabilitation?The best way to get better after a stroke is to start stroke rehabilitation (“rehab”). In stroke rehab, a team of health professionals works with you to regain skills you lost as the result of a stroke. Rehab can help you to: Do as well and
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) - Health Tools
An interactive tool about deciding whether to have carotid endarterectomy for stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
After a Stroke: Helping Your Family Adjust - Topic Overview
If you have a family member who has had a stroke, you may be concerned about how the stroke is going to affect your family's lifestyle. You may be concerned about finances and changes in family roles and responsibilities. Here are some ways to help your loved one and other family members adjust: Realize that after a stroke, your loved one may be prone to strong emotional reactions. Remember that these are a result of the stroke. Try not to become too upset by them.Don't avoid your loved one who's had a stroke. Contact with and support from family members is very important to your loved one's recovery.Join a local support group. These groups provide a place where issues can be discussed in a supportive environment and an opportunity to meet others dealing with the same issues. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area.Take care of yourself too. You must stay healthy enough so you can care for your loved one who has had a stroke.You are an important part of your family member's