Stroke Specialist

The Hammett Clinic -  - Neurology

The Hammett Clinic

Neurology Specialists & Aesthetics located in Columbia, SC

Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, and one of the leading causes of adult disability, yet 80% of strokes can be prevented. David Hammett, MD, is a vascular neurology specialist at The Hammett Clinic in Columbia, South Carolina, and offers testing to assess your risk of having a stroke, as well as the medical management for those recovering from a stroke. For an evaluation, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Stroke Q & A

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel to the brain either ruptures or becomes blocked by a clot, stopping the flow of blood and oxygen and causing brain cells to die. The abilities, or functions, controlled by the affected area of the brain are lost.

There are two classifications of stroke, hemorrhagic and ischemic. A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a ruptured blood vessel, while an ischemic stroke is the result of a blood clot obstructing a blood vessel that supplies your brain. Ischemic strokes account for about 87% of cases.

What are the risk factors for a stroke?

Risk factors are those conditions or behaviors found most frequently in the individuals who have experienced or are at great risk of experiencing a stroke. Risk factors include:

  • Age: your stroke risk doubles for each decade between ages 55-85
  • Gender: Young and middle-aged males are at higher risk for stroke, though more women die from strokes overall
  • Race: African Americans have the highest risk for strokes, and you’re also at higher risk if you’re Hispanic
  • Genetics: strokes are sometimes known to run in families, as are risk factors like high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes

Dr. Hammett is a vascular neurology specialist and can determine if you’re at risk of having a stroke during an evaluation.

What are the warning signs of a stroke?

If your brain isn’t receiving the oxygen it needs, you may experience any number of physical indicators as your body tries to warn you that something’s wrong. When left untreated, even the mildest stroke is likely to have life-altering — and possibly life-threatening — consequences.

Common warning signs of a stroke include sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg
  • Confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

If you or someone you know is experiencing one or more of these warning signs, seek immediate medical attention.

How are strokes treated?

Dr. Hammett provides targeted treatment for those at risk of having a stroke, as well as those recovering from a stroke.

For prevention, Dr. Hammett may recommend:

  • Lifestyle modification
  • Improved medical management of your underlying risk factors
  • Anticoagulant medication

For treatment after a stroke, Dr. Hammett directs your rehabilitation plan, which may include physical and/or occupational therapy, as well as psychotherapy. In some cases, Dr. Hammett may recommend surgical care as part of your treatment plan.

Whether you have concerns about your risk of having a stroke or you’re recovering from a stroke, the team at The Hammett Clinic can help. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.