May is National Stroke Awareness Month and suffering from a stroke is America’s third leading cause of death. A stroke occurs when blood flow and oxygen to the brain is blocked.
This happens when a blood vessel breaks or a blood clot blocks the vessel. Brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. Stroke may cause brain controlled activities like speech, movement, and memory to be lost.
Dr. Eugene Sun of Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico discusses how common strokes are in America, stating that about every 40 seconds someone has a stroke. Every 4 minutes, someone dies from a stroke.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico says people need to act quickly and call 9-1-1 when noticing the following symptoms. An easy way to remember the symptoms is by remember the acronym F.A.S.T.
- Face- Does one side of the face drop?
- Arms-Ask the person to raise both arms, does one shift downward?
- Speech-Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Can he or she repeat the sentence correctly?
- Time-If the person shows any of the following signs, time is of the essence. Call 911 right awary to get life-saving treatment for a stroke.
Certain factors can lead to a stroke. For example, high blood pressure, high cholestorol, being overweight, smoking, lack of exercise, and excessive drinking can all be contributing factors to having a stroke.
You can also lower your risk for stroke by being physically active, eating a healthy low-sodium diet, knowing your family health history, and limiting alcohol use are ways to reduce your chances.