May is Stroke Awareness Month
Did you know that every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers from a stroke? According to the American Stoke Association, stroke is the leading cause of disability; but fortunately, stroke is also easy to prevent, treat, and beat.
A stroke, also called a “brain attack,” can occur in two forms: hemorrhagic and ischemic. A hemorrhagic stroke refers to bleeding in the brain or in the space surrounding the brain. An ischemic stroke happens when a blood vessel becomes blocked and a lack of blood supply to an area of the brain kills brain tissue.
In the event of a stroke, it’s important to remember that “time is brain,” and to get help right away.
Knowing the signs can help save you or someone you love. Remember the acronym FAST and call 911 immediately if you notice:
F: Face drooping
A: Arm weakness
S: Speech difficulty (or, “Smile test” – someone suffering a stroke will have a hard time lifting one side of their mouth when asked to smile.)
T: Time is brain: call 9-1-1!
There are many risk factors for stroke which are beyond one’s control, such as gender, race, and family history. But, there are some things you can do to lower your risk of stroke:
- If you smoke, quit.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly to control high blood pressure (hypertension), keep your heart healthy, and maintain a healthy weight.
- See your doctor on a regular basis to stay on track with your healthy habits.