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This Month In Health
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    Would you be able to know when someone’s having a stroke? While there are many symptoms of a stroke, one of the easiest ways to remember stroke symptoms is to think F.A.S.T. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

More Than FAST

Can you recognize the signs of a stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain or a weak artery in the brain bursts and begins to bleed. With either cause, the end result is that the brain is deprived of oxygen-rich blood. Without this oxygen, brain cells begin to die.

Striking instantly and often without warning, a stroke can leave you with memory loss, speech problems, paralysis, vision loss, or a change in personality. The more brain cells that are damaged, the greater the chance of disability or death. The sooner a stroke victim is able to receive medical care, the less severe the stroke’s effects will be. This is why it’s vital that you recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Would you be able to know when someone’s having a stroke? If not, keep reading to educate yourself on what to look for. While there are many symptoms of a stroke, one of the easiest ways to remember stroke symptoms is to think F.A.S.T.

F = Face

A common sign of stroke is numbness or weakness on one side of the body. Most of the time symptoms come on suddenly, but sometimes they gradually worsen. If the stroke occurs in the left side of the brain, the right side of the body will be affected and vice versa.

One way to check for numbness or weakness is to look at the person’s face and ask them to smile for you. Does one side of the face droop while the other side smiles? If so, it’s a stroke. Call 911 immediately.

A = Arms

Another way to test for numbness or weakness on one side of the body is to have the affected individual raise their arms. Are they able to raise both arms or does one arm begin to fall down? If one arm can’t stay raise, don’t wait for this to resolve on its own. Call for emergency help before it’s too late.

S = Speech

Without oxygen to parts of the brain, it’s common for stroke victims to exhibit confusion. They may not be able to speak clearly or to understand what others are saying. If you suspect someone had a stroke, ask them to repeat a simple sentence after you. Can they remember the words? Does their speech sound slurred or slow? If they can’t remember the words and their speech is slurred or slow, think stroke.

T= Time

If any strange symptoms are detected with these three tests, call for an ambulance. It’s better to err on the side of caution than to wait for things to improve until it’s too late. Note the time the symptoms started and tell the medical staff. The sooner a stroke victim receives medication the better. After three hours, brain damage may result in disability or death. If a blood clot is causing the stroke, drugs can be administered to dissolve clots. Otherwise, doctors will work to stop bleeding from a burst blood vessel.

Other Signs

While numbness or weakness on one side of the body and speech difficulties are some of the most common signs of stroke, there are other symptoms to look for.

Some strokes cause vision changes. A person may suddenly have trouble seeing out of one or both eyes. Someone with a stroke may also have difficulty swallowing or suddenly have a horrible headache with no apparent cause. Strokes can also cause dizziness and a feeling like the room is spinning. Some people have sudden, unexplained trouble balancing or a lack of coordination. Walking in a straight line may be difficult.

As with the F.A.S.T. symptoms, seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you love experiences any of these symptoms.

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