May is recognized as the National Stroke Awareness Month. According to the American Heart Association, in the United States, strokes are the fifth leading cause of death. Stroke Awareness month is highly promoted and important, because statistics show that 80 percent of strokes may be preventable. Today, we will look closely at what is a stroke, the signs of a stroke and some prevention tools.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is a blockage in a blood vessel or a rupture of a blood vessel, whose job is to carry oxygen to the brain. This results in an area of the brain not receiving the right amount of blood, which then causes brain cells to die. Having a stroke can impair one’s physical body, communication and/or emotional and behavioral well-being. Recovery is therefore fundamental to adapting to the effects of the stroke and to learning ways to return to independent living.
What are the signs of a Stroke?
When someone is having a stroke, the stroke symptoms can be easily recognized. These symptoms form the acronym F.A.S.T (see below). This signals one to call for emergency services immediately, as time is of the essence, when someone is having a stroke.
F= Facial drooping (one side of the face may droop or be numb)
A=Arm weakness (unable to hold one arm up or it may be weak or numb)
S=Speech difficulty (unable to talk or has slurred speech)
T=Time to dial 9-1-1 (call immediately and give details)
Some ways to prevent stroke include visiting your doctor and controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol. Exercise, diet and not smoking are also essential. Talk with your doctor about your concerns and to form a prevention plan.
Help spread the word about Stroke Awareness Month with these facts and information! The information presented here was sourced from the American Heart Association. There is also additional information provided on stroke recovery resources. Click here to see the full report and for more information: