Symptoms that a Stroke is about to Strike

Dr. Rafael R. Castillo in his Inquirer column entitled Medical Files talks about Filipinos trivializing hypertension. He says that: less than 50% of hypertensives are aware that they have it; only 25% are taking anti-hypertension medications and only 10% or less have adequately controlled high blood pressure.

What gives?

No symptoms. That's why. It is hard to get alarmed if you don't feel any adversely symptomatic condition/s. What's more, even if these hypertensives do take medications, this is not religious habit but considered as a hop and skip thing...not until a stroke strikes. And as the good doctor says, "by then it's too late".

Solution to an apparent problem. "Increase awareness" with the I-Stroke campaign.

Dubbed as "Marunong and Nagtatanong", (Wise is the Person Who Asks), aims to increase awareness. Properly disseminated, it could prevent the escalation in the number of people getting debilitated with a stroke caused by hypertension. (I believe I have been seeing this on television and that's great news).

Figure this grim picture out as painted by the World Health Organization (WHO):


15M will suffer from stroke in 2007
5M will die
5M will be permanently disabled

Locally, a study published by Dr. Joey Navarro (neurologist), 500,000 Filipinos are said to have been affected by a stroke.

So what should we watch out for? The following symptoms indicate that a Stroke is about to strike:

sudden weakness of the facial muscles
sudden weakness of the arm or leg, usually only on one side of the body
sudden numbness on one side of the body
difficulty in speaking
blurring of vision in one or both eyes
difficulty in walking
loss of balance
severe headache

Dr. Navarro further advises that as soon as anyone develops these or any of these symptoms, he should immediately be brought to the hospital emergency room to prevent more severe complications. To delay is too dangerous and could be fatal.

Now we know and must always remember.

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