Stroke Signs and Risk Factors | Loyola Medicine

Stroke Signs and Risk Factors

Early Detection and Patient Education to Prevent Stroke

Loyola Medicine’s Stroke Center is committed to preventing stroke—and early detection is key to successful recovery. Knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke, and what lifestyle changes should be made if you have stroke risk factors, will lower your risk for stroke and the tremendous impact it could have on your life.

It is critical to act at the first signs of stroke. Call 911 immediately if you or a loved one experiences any signs of a stroke or mini-stroke. 

When you and your loved ones know the signs of a stroke, you can receive medical attention sooner. At Loyola, we say, “time equals brain;” the longer it takes to recognize the need for medical help, the more brain cells you may lose. 

Here are the basic signs and symptoms of a stroke:

  • Confusion, dizziness or unsteadiness that comes on rapidly
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding someone talking
  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Unexpected, sudden and severe headache or “thunderclap” headache
  • Vision loss that occurs quickly, particularly in one eye

Do not ignore your symptoms, even if they only last five to 10 minutes. If you’ve had just one of these symptoms, you need to be evaluated right away.

Why Choose Loyola for Stroke Treatment?

Loyola’s compassionate team understands that a stroke can be life-changing not only for the patient, but also for family members. Loyola takes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and provides support services for patients and families. This approach has helped neurology and neurosurgery care at Loyola University Medical Center achieve a national ranking in U.S. News & World Report's 2020-21 Best Hospitals list.

Loyola’s Stroke Center has been recognized by the American Stroke Association with its Get with the Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for our commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care. Loyola is also the only academic medical center in the Chicago area accredited as a stroke specialty program by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) International. Loyola University Medical Center is certified by The Joint Commission as a comprehensive stroke center.

Our neuro intensive care unit is equipped with continuous EEG and video monitoring and is staffed by certified technologists and trained neurology nurses, who have earned Magnet status.

What are the Risk Factors for Stroke?

The easiest way to prevent a stroke is to know the risk factors and make any needed lifestyle changes. Talk to your doctor if you have the following conditions or risk factors:

If you are at risk for stroke, make sure to have a yearly checkup with your primary care physician and follow through on any routine tests that are ordered.
For more information on stroke, visit the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.