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There are conditions that can increase your risk for stroke. These risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, heart disease, heavy alcohol use, physical inactivity and obesity, atrial fibrillation and family or personal history of stroke. Some of the above items are controllable and others are part of our genetics (uncontrollable). Also those individuals who have certain clotting disorders (Factor V Leiden or Antiphospholipid syndrome) are at a higher risk for stroke, because of the increased tendency to develop clots.
In regards to migraine, research has shown that those individuals who experience migraines with a visual aura are at an increased risk of stroke, particularly women with other medical conditions associated with stroke (Stroke, 2007). The Visual aura is the phase during a migraine attack in which a disturbance of vision occurs. Usually a patient will see flashes of white and/or black or multicolored lights dazzling zigzag lines. The aura is experienced for approximately 5-20 minutes. Some patients have blurred, cloudy or tunneled vision. It is important to know your history as well as learn as much as you can regarding your family’s medical history-It may just save your life.
Answer submitted by Jennifer Fasano, Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Practice Nurse, & Stroke Coordinator at Provena Mercy Medical Center.