Stroke Awareness Month: How to spot the signs

News

Strokes kill about 140,000 Americans a year. They happen to someone in this country every 40 seconds. 

Doctor Ryan Taylor from Genesis spoke with Local 4 News about ways to keep it from happening to you.

May is Stroke Awareness Month. How would we know someone around us is having a stroke?
 
“We use BEFAST acronym to identify a stroke in yourselves or someone around us. The B is for balance, E is for change in vision in one or both eyes, F is for face and any drooping in the face is a warning sign; A is for change or weakness or limited use of an arm; S is for slurred speech; T is for time … react quickly and seek medical attention.”
 
What are the stroke risk factors?
 
“There are quite a few with stroke, including unmanaged high blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, weight, gender, family history, age and lack of exercise. So many of those factors we can control and manage ourselves or with the help of a family provider.”
 
What should we know about blood pressure in terms of preventing a stroke?
 
“Start by knowing your numbers. 130 is now considered to be high. It is important to know not just your blood pressure, but also your cholesterol numbers. If you know your numbers, you are better able to manage the numbers by having regular visits with a family provider and taking steps to manage numbers.”
 
Are there different types of strokes, and how are they treated?
 
There are three main types of stroke: transient ischemic attack, ischemic stroke, and hemorrhagic stroke. It’s estimated that 87 percent of strokes are ischemic.
 
Sometimes people say they had a minor stroke. Is there such a thing?
 
“That usually is a reference to a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. It isn’t minor if you don’t alter the course of risk factors after the first TIA. A second attack could be much more serious.”

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