IN THIS ARTICLE
What Increases Your Risk
Risk factors for stroke include those you can treat or change and those you can't change.
Risk factors you can treat or change:
Risk factors you cannot change include:
When To Call a Doctor
Signs of a transient ischemic attack are similar to signs of a stroke. But TIA symptoms usually disappear after 10 to 20 minutes. There is no way to tell whether the symptoms are caused by a stroke or by TIA, so emergency medical care is needed for both conditions.
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
Call your doctor for an appointment if you:
Watchful waiting is not appropriate if you have signs of a stroke. Emergency medical care is needed to prevent or treat any complications that may be life-threatening. Prompt treatment may prevent extensive damage to the brain, reducing permanent disabilities from the stroke.
If the stroke is caused by a blood clot, early care by a doctor in the emergency room or hospital is critical. If you seek help right away, you can sometimes receive a medicine (tissue plasminogen activator, or t-PA) that dissolves clots. This medicine works best when it is given right after symptoms begin. Not everyone can safely receive this medicine.
Who to see
Doctors who can diagnose and treat stroke include:
If you need surgery or have other health problems, other specialists may be consulted, such as a:
Some hospitals have a stroke team made up of many different health professionals, such as a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a rehabilitation doctor (physiatrist), a nurse, and a social worker.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
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