Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
Recognizing and treating stroke early can increase the chance of survival and diminish the likelihood of long-term mental and physical effects. Because every second counts, we want you to remember the symptoms and signs of stroke. There are a number of steps you can take to help recognize if you or someone you are with is having a stroke. An easy way to remember these steps is the acronym, BE FAST.
B - Balance
Watch the person move or walk. Is he or she suddenly having trouble with balance or coordination?
E - Eyes
Is he or she experiencing suddenly blurred or double vision or a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes?
F - Face Drooping
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile; is it crooked?
A- Arm Weakness
Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S - Speech Difficulty
Is the person’s speech slurred? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T – Terrible Headache
If the person experiences a sudden headache often described as the worse headache of their life. Do not ignore the warning signs of a stroke. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms, immediately call 911 for emergency care.
Preventing a Stroke
The best way to manage stroke is to prevent it. This means making lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. Our team is here to help you understand what steps to take to minimize the effects of less-than-helpful habits and, in some cases, reverse the effects of cardiovascular disease that can lead to a stroke.
A stroke occurs when fatty deposits (plaque) often caused by several cardiovascular risk factors, build up inside the arteries that lead to the brain. These risk factors include a family history of stroke, increasing age, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess weight, lack of exercise and stress.
If you are at risk for stroke (e.g. have multiple risk factors), talk to your physician. Your physician may order one of the advanced imaging studies to detect the presence of cardiovascular disease early which can help prevent a stroke. These tests include:
- Carotid duplex scan (or carotid ultrasound)
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)