A stroke is when a blood vessel that leads to the brain either is blocked by a blood clot or the vessel bursts. This means that the brain is not able to get the oxygen it needs in order to function. Many people don’t realize that anyone can have a stroke, regardless of age.
The best way to prevent long term damage from a stroke is to know the warning signs before it happens. Facial drooping (one side of the face responds and the other is immobile), arm weakness, and slurred speech are all common signs of a stroke. It is possible that all or none of these symptoms appear when having a stroke. The most important thing to do if you suspect a possible stroke is to call 9-1-1. Symptoms such as severe headache, dizziness and vision changes can also be signs of a stroke.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading factor to a stroke. If you have high blood pressure, the most important thing you can do is eat right, exercise and talk with your doctor. They may recommend medicine to help manage your blood pressure. It is important to stay on all your prescribed medicines.
Everyone should know the common signs of stroke and know what to do if someone is having a stroke. Calling 911 as quickly as possible gives the patient the highest chance of recovery. By remembering the acronym F.A.S.T. people of all ages can learn what to do if they suspect a stroke.