A stroke in progress is usually diagnosed in a hospital. If you're having a stroke, your immediate care will focus on minimizing brain damage. If you haven't yet had a stroke, but you're worried about your future risk, you can discuss your concerns with your doctor at your next scheduled appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
In the emergency room, you may see an emergency medicine specialist or a doctor trained in brain conditions (neurologist), as well as nurses and medical technicians.
Your emergency team's first priority will be to stabilize your symptoms and overall medical condition. Then they will determine if you're having a stroke. Doctors will try to find the cause of your stroke to determine the most appropriate treatment.
If you're seeking your doctor's advice during a scheduled appointment, your doctor will evaluate your risk factors for stroke and heart disease. Your discussion will focus on avoiding these risks, such as not smoking or using illicit drugs. Your doctor also will discuss lifestyle strategies or medications to control high blood pressure, cholesterol and other stroke risk factors.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend certain tests and procedures. These will help the doctor to better understand your risk of stroke. They may also help treat underlying conditions that can increase your risk.