Take Note of Stroke Awareness Month in 2015

People don’t think about strokes, they just happen. Nearly half a million Americans have a stroke every year, with about 150,000 deaths associated with strokes. It is also the number one cause of disability in the U.S. and the third leading cause of death. Over three million stroke victims are still alive, but out of those still living, at least a third will live with permanent disabilities that are directly linked to the stroke. Only twenty percent receive therapy or rehabilitation after having a stroke. Sounds scary, right? 

May of 2015 is “Stroke Awareness Month” and it is a time for physicians across the country to spread the word about this sometimes fatal occurrence. Although some specialists can help patients return to fully functioning citizens or assisted living, the emotional or physical effects can greatly impact their quality of living.

How is a stroke diagnosed, and what are some warning signs people should look for? How can people reduce the risk of having a stroke in the first place, when little is known about the causes? These are things to address during National Stroke Awareness Month.

Acting FAST Can Save Lives and Prevent Strokes

The acronym FAST is important because it is a great way to remember the things to look for on a person who might be just about to have a stroke. When Acting FAST is applied, nearly 80% of all strokes can be prevented.

The National Stroke Association lists the acronym as follows:

 

Who is Most at Risk of Having a Stroke?

Some people are at higher risk of having a stroke, especially those with a family history. If your father, mother or grandparent has ever had a stroke, you should be especially diligent in stroke prevention. You should also consider changing your diet and lifestyle habits.

These risk factors may or may not mean that a person is more likely to have a stroke:

So, what are some things people can do to avoid having a stroke? The most essential things are eating clean, exercising and being diligent about prevention. Always get a checkup at the doctor, especially vital statistics such as blood pressure or cholesterol readings, and heart checkups, etc.

Remember, if you see someone displaying any of the FAST symptoms, it is a cue to act fast. It just might be the difference between life or death, or having a stroke or not. Many strokes can be prevented; so long as you get there in the nick of time!

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