National Stroke Awareness Month
National Stroke Awareness Month is observed in the United States annually during the month of May.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds, or when there’s a blockage in the blood supply to the brain. The rupture or blockage prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the brain’s tissues. Without oxygen, brain cells and tissue become damaged and begin to die within minutes. Symptoms of a stroke show up in the body parts controlled by the damaged areas of the brain.
National Stroke Awareness Month was created to promote public awareness and reduce the incidence of stroke in the United States. The goal is to educate Americans to recognize the symptoms of stroke as early as possible in order to improve outcomes by prompt treatment during the early stages of stroke.
It is therefore important to recognize the symptoms of stroke which include:
- numbness or weakness in the arm, face, and leg, especially on one side of the body
- trouble speaking
- slurring of speech
- vision problems, such as trouble seeing in one or both eyes, or double vision
- trouble walking
- loss of balance or coordination
- Reduce your stroke risk through lifestyle changes -eating healthy, regular physical activity, avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Reduce risk by medical management of risk factors such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (AFib), high cholesterol, diabetes and circulation problems.
- Some risk factors for stroke are uncontrolled such as age, gender, & ethnicity.
- Time is critical. Faster action leads to improved survival and recovery.
If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, call 911 immediately. Prompt treatment is key to preventing the following outcomes:
- brain damage
- long-term disability
It’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with a stroke.
Disclaimer: The information is intended to provide general education for patients and their families. The information provided does not constitute medical or health care advice for any individual and is not a substitute for medical and other professional advice and service.
Dr. Mahesh Ochaney is a solo practitioner who has been practicing Internal Medicine since 1991. Dr. Ochaney’s compassionate primary care has been recognized several times over the years, including being named a 2018 Top Doctor by Baltimore Magazine and receiving a State of Maryland Governor’s Citation.