Strokes are one of the most significant health issues affecting older Americans. In fact, about 75% of all strokes occur in people who are 65 and older. That means that a key part of taking care of your health is understanding whether you’re at risk for a stroke.

Since May is National Stroke Awareness Month, it’s the perfect opportunity to review strokes, how they affect us, and what we can do to stop them. Keep reading to learn more.

What is a Stroke, Exactly?

A stroke occurs when there’s a change in how blood flows into your brain. When blood is unable to flow to parts of your brain, then the cells in those areas don’t receive enough oxygen. Eventually, this will cause the cells to die. However, sometimes the affected cells can be brought back to life if they haven’t been deprived of oxygen for too long.

There are two major types of strokes: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by blood clots that narrow an artery leading to the brain. These are the most common types of strokes. Hemorrhagic strokes, on the other hand, occur when a blood vessel breaks, which causes bleeding in the brain.

What Increases the Risk of Strokes?

There are several factors that can put you at an increased risk of experiencing a stroke. Some of these, like age, race, and family history, can’t be controlled. Others can. Here’s an overview of the controllable factors that can increase your risk of strokes:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Untreated diabetes
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise or inactivity

If you have one or more of these risk factors, then there’s no time like the present to take action. Experts recommend that you speak with a doctor to talk about the steps that you need to take to reduce your risk of experiencing a stroke. You may even be able to use your Medicare health insurance to cover the costs of the visit.

How Can I Reduce My Risk of Experiencing a Stroke?

The best way to manage your risk of experiencing a stroke is to consult with a physician. They can provide you with personalized recommendations that can have a significant impact on both your overall health and your risk of experiencing a stroke.

Thankfully, many of the costs associated with this kind of care can be covered by Medicare. For example, Medicare covers preventative services like screenings and stroke counseling that can help you take back control of your health.

Of course, Medicare coverage can be complex and difficult to understand. If you need help with figuring out what parts of your treatment would be covered by your plan, consider contacting Time for 65. Our partnered licensed agents are standing by to provide you with individualized information about your Medicare health insurance.

You can get in touch with one today by either filling out this form or giving us a call. We’d love to help you get more informed about your Medicare plan and hope to hear from you soon to get started.