National Stroke Awareness Month is designated during the month of May. This month works to help educate the public about the important stroke signs that people can identify and understand in their own lives. There are a few simple warning signs that can serve as early indicators of strokes. These key signs make a significant difference in the early diagnosis of various heart related illnesses.There are many basic things that relate to heart health that people do not often realize. The American Heart Association has helped develop a program known as the F.A.S.T. program. F.A.S.T. is an acronym that stands for: Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to call 9-1-1. These are four simple signs that can be identified to help recognize these early warning signs. The American Heart Association’s joint website with the American Stroke Association provides a brief breakdown of these four identifiable symptoms/warning signs:
• Face Dropping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
• 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? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
• Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
According to the American Stroke Association, a stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. Strokes are the 5th leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. Furthermore, women face a greater risk of stroke. There are many things you can do to control and treat several risk factors for a stroke which include controlling your blood pressure, controlling your blood sugar if you have diabetes, watching your diet, and exercising. If you would like to learn more information about healthy tips on cardiovascular health, you can visit the American Heart Association, and the American Stroke Association.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns, or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Aransas County and Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 512-463-0672.