According to the American Stroke Association, strokes are the number five cause of death in the United States. They affect the arteries that lead to the brain by clotting or rupturing and can limit the oxygen intake causing the cells of the brain to die. While many strokes can happen in just seconds, there are symptoms to take into consideration that may manifest into a stroke if not taken seriously and with precaution.
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs or on one side of the body.
- Having trouble speaking or being in a state of confusion.
- Sudden blurry vision or complete impairment from one or both eyes.
- Sudden loss of balance, coordination or having trouble walking.
- Random severe headache pain without an underlying cause.
It is important to note that you can be having a stroke without all of these symptoms, and if you notice even one of them, do not wait and contact 911. A quick way to spot the signs of a stroke is to remember “F.A.S.T.” (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911).
The American Heart Association suggests that the best ways to prevent strokes are by monitoring the blood pressure regularly, eating foods with low-cholesterol, staying active, and maintaining low levels of blood sugar. Up to 80 percent of clot-related strokes are preventable with the proper care and regimen.