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The former heartthrob of the television show 90210 made news as he died of complications of a stroke. STROKE, OR cerebrovascular accident, is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. In fact, stroke kills about 140,000 Americans each year — that’s one out of every 20 deaths, according to the CDC. More alarming? Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, while every four minutes, someone dies of a stroke.  Strokes can affect both men and women; young and old.

The good news: About 80% of strokes are preventable. We, as eye care providers, can play a role in stroke prevention by identifying visual disturbances, such as transient ischemic attacks (TIA), and identifying certain retinal vascular changes — both of which are strong indicators of stroke risk. A stroke is caused by an interruption in blood flow through the brain. Strokes may be ischemic, hemorrhagic or TIA.

Ischemic strokes, which account for a majority (about 87%) of all strokes, occur when a blood vessel is obstructed by a blood clot or embolus.  Some of these emboli can be seen in the blood vessels of the eyes. Hemorrhagic strokes stem from the rupture of a blood vessel or aneurysm in the brain. Specifically, an intracerebral bleed occurs within the brain, while a subarachnoid hemorrhage involves rupture of an artery between the surface of the brain and skull. This bleeding is often signaled by a sudden, severe headache. Damage to the brain depends on the location the stroke and the time before treatment is started. As an extension of the brain, stroke can even occur in the eye.

This just one more reason you should have yearly dilated eye exam.

Call 267-485-1414 and make an appointment.

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