May Is Stroke Awareness Month
Published May 1, 2012 @ 3:48 p.m.
In observance of Stroke Awareness Month, the American Stroke Association has released easy-to-understand information about major signs of a stroke; facts about strokes and stroke victims and ways to lower your chances of suffering from a stroke.
Five major signs of stroke are sudden:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance and coordination.
- Severe headache with no known cause.
If you think someone is having a stroke, call 9–1–1 or emergency medical services immediately. Receiving immediate treatment is critical in lowering the risk of disability and even death.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is a leading cause of serious long-term disability. Nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people aged 65 years or older. The chances of having a stroke double each decade after the age of 55. However, strokes can—and do—occur at any age. People with a family history of stroke are more likely to have a stroke.
Knowing your chances of having a stroke and doing what you can to decrease or control your chances constitute the best approach to preventing stroke and stroke-related disability. All people can take steps to lower their chances of having a stroke or lower their chances of having another stroke.
Things you can do to lower your chances of having a stroke include taking steps to prevent and control high blood pressure, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, not smoking, and not drinking too much alcohol (drinking more than two drinks per day on average for men or more than one drink per day on average for women).