PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – May is Stroke Awareness Month, and nationally as well as in Florida, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a major cause of serious disability for adults.
Stroke affects the arteries leading to and within the brain and occurs when the blood supply is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain
tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications.
The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County (DOH-Pasco) describes warning signs by the B.E. F.A.S.T. acronym.
B – Balance
Is the person suddenly having trouble with balance or coordination?
E – Eyes
Is the person experiencing suddenly blurred or double vision or a sudden vision loss in one or both eyes without pain?
F – Face
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S – Speech
Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T – Time
If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.
If you smoke, now would be a good time to quit. Exercise can greatly increase blood flow. Excessive weight can also trigger a stroke along with high blood pressure, diabetes and an unhealthy diet.