Stroke Awareness: What You Need to Know

The fourth leading cause of death in the United States is strokes. Strokes can happen to anyone at any time no matter your age or background. May has been made National Stroke Awareness Month to increase public awareness of lifesaving stroke prevention. May is also National Speech and Hearing month.

You can help prevent stroke with these healthy lifestyle tips: Eat well. Be active. Don’t smoke. Limit alcohol use. Find out if you have a higher risk.

Some medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure raise the risk for stroke. Make sure to keep an eye on these health problems and talk with your doctor to control them. Take medication as directed and follow prescription instructions carefully.

Start working towards stroke prevention today by making healthy choices and telling others what you know.

The stroke association and other stroke websites say to remember FAST:

FAST: Face, Arm, Speech, and Time:

  • Face: Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile.
  • Arm: Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms.
  • Speech: Does their speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase.
  • Time: If you observe any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Other symptoms: sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or loss of coordination; sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If you notice these symptoms and think that someone is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately. Taking action quickly can save lives and possibly reduce long-term disability.

Someone who has had a stroke might need physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy.

How can a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) help someone who had a stroke?

After a stroke, the SLP diagnoses and treats many areas such as: cognition, communication (ability to understand or use language), speech sound errors, and swallowing problems. An SLP can also determine a patient’s need and ability to use augmentative or alternative communication (AAC). Treatment programs focus on improving the skills that may have been affected by the stroke.

Resources for information about stroke?

This list is not exhaustive and inclusion does not imply endorsement of the organization or the content of the website by AHH.

National Stroke Association; American Academy of Neurology; American Heart Association;

National Aphasia Association; strokeassociation.org; stroke.org

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