stroke awareness

May Is Stroke Awareness Month: What Are the Symptoms?

UM has tips for stroke awareness month

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May is Stroke Awareness Month. Did you know that stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the country?

But with the help of specialists at the University of Miami, we can take steps to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones starting by identifying risk factors. 

"The leading vascular risk factors in our communities is high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking," said Dr. Victor Del Brutto, a stroke specialist at UM.

But what are the symptoms of a stroke even if you're keeping those risk factors in check?

"The easiest way to remember is the BE FAST acronym. B stands for balance problems, E for eye problems like double vision, F for face droop or asymmetry, A for an arm or leg weakness and also sensory changes, S for speech problems like slurred speech or language deficits and T is for time," Dr. Del Brutto said.

Experts say that time is perhaps the most important when dealing with a stroke and it can be a matter of life and death. With the proper treatment, stroke victims can recover. 

But as Dr. Del Brutto tells us, trying to prevent a stroke in the first place is key. 

"The American Heart Association encourages to have a blood pressure in the normal range, a total cholesterol also in the normal range, markers of diabetes well controlled, no smoking perform regular physical activity and control the body weight," he said.

So, remember, know the signs and symptoms of a stroke, act fast and make lifestyle changes to stay healthy.

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