RECOGNIZE DANGER. STROKE symptoms may include SUDDEN:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Confusion, trouble talking or difficulty understanding speech.
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Dizziness, difficulty walking, or loss of balance or coordination.
- Severe headache with no known cause
Seek EMERGENCY help @ the first sign of sudden symptoms. Doctors can treat an ISCHEMIC STROKE with tissue PLASMINOGEN activator (TPA), a clot-busting drug that can minimize the risk of lasting disability. But TPA must be given within three hours after STROKE symptoms being, so there is just a SMALL window opportunity. So do NOT wait for possible STROKE symptoms to WORSEN or IMPROVE. Even if symptoms vanish in moments, you still need to get help @ once. Temporary symptoms may be a sign of a transient ISCHEMIC attack (TIA), or MINI-STROKE. A TIA is a warning from your body that a FULL-BLOWN STROKE may happen soon.
It is better to prevent a STROKE than to treat one. To lower your STROKE risk:
- Know your blood pressure numbers. If your blood pressure is consistently above normal, work with your doctor to lower it.
- Drop the extra pounds. If you are overweight, losing as little as 5 percent to 10 percent of your total weight may help prevent a STROKE.
- Do not light up. Smoking doubles STROKE risk.
- Eat wisely. A healthful diet can help you control three risk factors for STROKE – high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and excess body weight. Eat plenty of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Go easy on foods high in saturated fat, Trans fat, cholesterol and salt.
- Move more. Walking briskly every day for as little as 30 minutes may lower risk.
- Control diabetes. Keeping your blood sugar in the normal range helps lower your risk of STROKE.
- Ask about aspirin. If you are older than 50, ask your doctor if taking aspirin will help protect you from STROKE.
- Talk with your doctor if you have ATRIAL FIBRILLATION. A blood thinning medication may lower the increased risk of STROKE caused by this abnormal heart rhythm. Remember, a STROKE can change your life forever. Do everything you can to protect yourself.
Taking FAST action can save your brain. The most important thing to do @ the first sign of a STROKE is to get to a hospital quickly. Rapid medical treatment may limit damage to the brain and improve the chances of recovery. Use this simple FAST test to tell if medical attention is needed:
- Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- Arms. Ask the person toe raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
- Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. An ambulance is the quickest way to get medical care.
NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately!! And describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.