ANYONE can have a stroke, so EVERYONE should be prepared!
A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when a blockage stops the flow of blood to the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. Strokes can and do occur in people of all ages. In fact, nearly a quarter of all strokes occur in people younger than age 65.
Each year, almost 800,000 strokes occur in the United States.
Every minute counts when you’re having a stroke! For every minute after a stroke occurs before treatment, 1.9 million neurons are affected. In most cases, this causes some form of permanent damage.
Recognizing the Signs of Stroke
F.A.S.T is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you spot the signs, you’ll know you need to call 911 right away.
F – Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop of is numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
A – Arm Weakness – Is one are weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S – Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence to see if it is repeated correctly?
T – Time to call 911 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if they go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
Lowering Your Risk for Stroke
Demographic factors such as family history, age, sex, and race/ethnicity can all play a role in an individual’s stroke risk. Regardless of your background, however, there are several things you can do to lower your chances of having a stroke.
- Control your Blood Pressure – More than half of the world’s stroke deaths are caused by elevated blood pressure levels.
- Manage your Cholesterol
- Don’t smoke – cigarette smoking contributes to one in every five strokes in the US.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet that’s low in sodium.
- Prevent or control diabetes.
- Limit your alcohol – Fewer than two drinks per day for men, or one drink per day for women.