Morning Mix


What you need to know for Stroke Awareness Month

Posted at 10:44 AM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 10:44:35-04

Spectrum Health has the largest volume stroke center in the state and the 14th largest volume center in the nation.

Dr. Justin Singer, a neurosurgeon at Spectrum Health, explains the warning signs of a stroke and what treatment options are available.

There are two different types of strokes: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke occurs when blood vessels in the brain are clogged or constricted preventing blood flow to the brain, whereas a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain.

Warning signs of a stroke are:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If a person experiences any of these symptoms, go to a hospital right away. Time is the most important factor in making sure a patient doesn't suffer long-term effects of a stroke.

People are at higher risk of getting a stroke if they have the following conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Inactivity/obesity
  • Carotid artery disease/TIA/AFib
  • Age/gender/heredity
  • History of stroke

There are healthy habits and other medical approaches people can take to prevent or reduce the risk of having a stroke. Be sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise, don't smoke, and limit alcohol use. Also be sure to check cholesterol and blood pressure, and take the proper medicines doctors prescribe to manage heart disease.

Click here to download Spectrum Health's ultimate guide to stroke, prevention, treatment and recovery.

To learn more about strokes and Spectrum Health's treatment options, visit