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Stroke Among Young People - What You Need to Know?

Most of the younger people assume that they can’t get diseases that older people have because they are young, but they are actually wrong. Just because you’re young and strong doesn’t mean that you are automatically healthy and can’t have diseases that mostly occur in older generations. In fact, younger people are at risk for having strokes too.

In this Singapore news, we are covering the risk factors and ways to prevent strokes that occur in younger individuals.

Contrary to the popular belief, stroke is no longer a concern of the aging population. There is a growing number of people who are not yet in their middle age are having strokes, too.

According to neurologist Blake Buletko, younger people are negligent when it comes to stroke symptoms, he said “I see a lot of younger people ignoring stroke symptoms because they think they are too young or too healthy. Knowing the warning signs and seeking help right away can prevent a stroke from limiting your future productivity.”

Can young people have strokes?

Certainly. The truth is, a supposed 10% of stroke cases are likely happening in people who are below the age of 50. 

Dr. Buletko also said that “Illicit drug use and genetic conditions certainly account for some of the strokes we see in younger populations. Beyond that, the causes of stroke in younger adults mirror the causes in adults, with arterial dissection, small tears in an artery (which can also occur with trauma that causes the artery to close off) being responsible for a larger proportion of strokes in younger adults.”

Other existing conditions can also be a cause of stroke in younger individuals. Conditions such as congenital heart disease, sickle cell disease, blood clotting disorders, and metabolic problems can also worsen the stroke that younger people experience.

Stroke prevention starts by modifying risk factors

“Modifying risk factors is the most important step you can take to prevent strokes as a younger adult. Take an active role in having a healthy lifestyle so you don’t experience risk factors prematurely. And, if you have a known genetic condition, follow up with your physician regularly,” said Dr. Buletko.

The following are the risk factors that are applicable in all age groups, whether you are old or young. 

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Abnormal heart problems such as congenital heart disease

Know the warning signs

Dr. Buletko also suggested that we should be aware of the warning signs of stroke. He said that you should never assume that you are exempt from having a stroke.

With this mnemonic device, younger people can now easily remember the acronym BE FAST, representing the symptoms of a stroke.

Balance – An unexpected loss of balance and coordination 

Eyes – An abrupt loss of vision in one or both the eyes or having blurry visions

Face – A sudden weakness on one side of the face 

Arms – An unexpected weakness in one leg or arm

Speech – Slur of words or struggle in speaking or making intelligible words

Time – If you are experiencing any symptoms mentioned above, you should call 911 immediately

Dr. Buletko also added that an intense attack of headache is also a warning sign of stroke to younger individuals especially if they have experienced hemorrhagic strokes or bleeding into the brain.

The pain that ensues is described as the worst headache that you will feel in your life or a sudden burst of incredible pain in your head is an obvious sign that you should call a doctor immediately.

Final Words

Finally, Dr. Buletko noted that one should not wait for any worse thing to occur if you are suddenly experiencing these symptoms, immediate response is advised. 

He said, “Don’t wait to get help if you experience any of these symptoms. We can do a lot more early on than if you wait several hours. Your quality of life depends on you seeking help immediately.” 

We at Straits Times, encourage you to not ignore the warning signs of stroke mentioned in this piece, seek immediate help, and don’t wait for the worse thing to happen.