May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Supported by the National Stroke Association, the ultimate goal is to help ‘Save A Life’ by educating the public about the risks, symptoms, and preventive measures associated with strokes.
There are a variety of symptoms that occur when someone is experiencing a stroke. These include:
- Sudden numbness and tingling, including the loss of movement on your face, arm, leg, or a particular side of your body.
- Sudden vision changes, headaches, or trouble speaking.
- Sudden confusion, or the inability to properly balance yourself, or walk.
A person experiencing a stroke can be treated if those around them act FAST.
FAST is the acronym associated with the checklist you should run through if you suspect someone may be falling victim to a stroke.
F– Face- If the person smiles, does their face droop on one side?
A– Arm- If the person is raising both arms, does one arm tend to drift downward?
S– Speech- After repeating a simple phrase, such as “Molly went to the market”, does the person’s speech sound slurred?
T- Time- If any of the above symptoms occur, call 9-1-1 for medical assistance!
Knowing what to do when a stroke strikes is important. However, there are steps you can take today for prevention purposes. The first step of stroke prevention is knowing your own stroke risk. Common risks include:
- Atrial fibrillation
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being Overweight
- Drinking large amounts of alcohol
Many of these risks can be avoided by adopting a healthier lifestyle. For example, positive steps include quitting smoking, limiting alcohol to 2 drinks a day, moderate exercise throughout the week, and eating more heart-healthy foods.
The National Stroke Association has helped to financially raise funds for those whose lives have been touched by stroke. In addition, they work with the medical community to provide research about this condition. Learn more about this amazing cause and how you can ‘Save A Life’.