Tanner Health System MyChart

  • Home
  • Five Keys to Stroke Awareness

Five Keys to Stroke Awareness

National Stroke Awareness Month, celebrated annually in May, serves as a timely reminder to educate ourselves and others about the warning signs of stroke and more.

Here are five keys to being “stroke aware” that everyone should know to help prevent stroke and improve the outcomes of those who are at risk:

1. Understand the risk factors

Many risk factors can increase your likelihood of having a stroke. Some of these — such as age, family history and race — are beyond your control. However, you can manage several lifestyle-related risk factors to help reduce your risk. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity and obesity

Understanding and managing these risk factors can significantly reduce your chances of experiencing a stroke.

2. Know the warning signs and think F.A.S.T.

Recognizing the signs of a stroke can save lives. The acronym F.A.S.T. is a simple way to remember the key symptoms:

  • Face drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue."
  • Time to call 911: If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

3. Immediate response can save lives

Time is of the essence when it comes to stroke treatment. The faster a person receives medical attention, the better their chances of recovery. Treatments are most effective when given soon after a stroke begins. This can mean the difference between a full recovery and long-term disability, or even life and death.

4. Prevention is key

Preventing a stroke starts with living a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco use, and limiting alcohol consumption. Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor those health conditions that increase your stroke risk — like high blood pressure and diabetes — are also crucial.

5. Support and recovery are part of the journey

Recovery from a stroke can be a long and challenging process, but support from family, friends and healthcare professionals can make a significant difference. Rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, can help survivors regain independence and improve their quality of life.

By spreading awareness and educating others about the risks, signs and responses to stroke, we can all contribute to reducing the impact of this serious condition. Remember, stroke awareness is not just for the month of May; it's a year-round commitment to saving lives and improving health outcomes for everyone.

Learn more about stroke care at Tanner.

Tanner Medical Group, Neurology Care

Comments have been disabled for this post.