(CNN)Country singer Chely Wright revealed that she suffered a stroke after her 48th birthday.
After dropping her sons off to school, she went to the emergency room at Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital, where doctors performed tests and confirmed what she had suspected — that she had a stroke.
“I sort of knew it. What I had been experiencing with that headache and leading up to that headache was different. I’d even said aloud to myself in the bathroom mirror, ‘Did you have a stroke?'”
That was a year ago Friday — and she’s OK now, the 49-year-old said.
“The reason I’m sharing this is so you all might take a moment to refresh your understanding of stroke and the symptoms of stroke,” Wright wrote. “Pay attention to your body and encourage your loved ones to do the same.”
Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide — and high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke, according to the American Stroke Association.
Most stroke victims are over age 65, but it can happen at any age, especially in people with complicating conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Spotting the early signs and getting help quickly can reduce longterm effects. Symptoms include face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, sudden numbness in the legs, confusion or trouble seeing, dizziness, loss of balance and a sudden severe headache.
Smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity and other cardiovascular diseases put people at greater risk for stroke. Avoiding diets with high calories, lots of saturated fat, trans fat and sodium can reduce the risk. So can getting 150 minutes of activity each week, experts say.
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