(KXNET) — Strokes can happen to anyone, at any age. And one in four adults over the age of 25 will have one in their lifetime.
According to a news release from the American Stroke Association, May is American Stroke Month — and the organization intends to use the time to teach people everywhere that strokes are preventable, treatable, and beatable.
A stroke occurs when normal blood flow in the brain is interrupted. When parts of the brain don’t get the oxygen-rich blood that’s needed, which then affects brain cells, and those cells die. In situations like these, response time matters, but most adults don’t know the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke. However, there are six major ways that anyone can help stop one before or after it happens.
Here are six ways you can act now to beat a stroke:
- Learn how to spot one. If you see a face drooping, arm weakness, or speech difficulty, call 911.
- Watch this F.A.S.T. PSA.
- Prevent another stroke. Talk to your doctor about managing risk factors to prevent a second one from happening.
- Take control of your blood pressure. Know what it is and keep it in a healthy range.
- Raise your voice by joining the American Stroke Association’s You’re The Cure advocacy community.
- Donate funds online.
“Learning the warning signs and preventative measures are the best way to avoid strokes and keep them from happening again,” said Senior Vice President of HCA Healthcare Steven Manoukian, MD, FAHA. “As a leading provider of stroke care, HCA Healthcare and our HCA Healthcare Foundation stand hand and hand with the American Heart Association in our mutually-developed and unique initiative entitled Getting to the Heart of Stroke to educate communities and providers, improve stroke care, and prolong and improve the lives of patients.”
People with atrial fibrillation, or AFib, are five times more likely to have a stroke. AFib is caused by a quivering or irregular heartbeat that leads to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. Strokes caused by AFib can be prevented, but only half of AFib patients get the right therapy.
Having one stroke puts you at a higher risk of having a second one, but you can reduce that risk by identifying what caused it and uncovering all the personal risk factors. Strokes can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes like moving more, eating healthy, managing blood pressure, getting healthy sleep, and quitting smoking and vaping.
The F.A.S.T. Experience is a new digital tool that engages users in a virtual experience that educates them on what the warning signs of a stroke look, feel, and/or sound like. The expectation is that people will retain the information and share it with friends and family.