May is National Stroke Awareness Month.
According to the National Stroke Association a person suffers from a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States. A stroke happens when there is a block of blood flow to the brain. This can cause temporary or permanent damage to a person’s brain and body.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in United State and can occur to people of all ages and races, but there are steps you can take before or during a stroke to minimize or negate its negative effects.
According to the American Stroke Association, high blood pressure is the leading factor for strokes. Being aware of one’s blood pressure numbers and being conscious to keep them at a low healthy amount can be key for preventing a stroke. Also it’s important to keep a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep a healthy flow of oxygen and blood to the brain and other parts of the body.
If you think you are experiencing a stroke or see someone acting abnormally, the National Stroke Association recommends you keeping the acronym F.A.S.T. in mind:
F – Face. Is someone’s face drooping or showing weakness on one side?
A – Arm. Is there weakness or numbness to one side of the body inhibiting someone from raising their arm?
S – Speech. Is the person having trouble speaking, repeating simple sentences or showing since of slurring their words?
T – Time. If someone is showing one or all of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to call 9-1-1. 80% of strokes are preventable so it’s better to play it safe and seek help if someone is showing signs of a stroke.