AKRON, Ohio – (WKBN) – As Sunday is World Stroke Day, doctors say knowing the signs can be a matter of life or death.
The American Heart Association says approximately one in four adults over the age of 25 will have a stroke in their lifetime. Doctors say knowing the most common signs is essential and there’s an easy way to remember what to look for.
The acronym F.A.S.T stands for face drooping, arm weakness, speech, and time to call 9-1-1. Dr. Justin Dunn is a cardiologist with Summa Health in Akron and a volunteer with the American Heart Association. He says anyone experiencing these symptoms should treat them as an emergency and should be treated immediately.
“Often other people notice it before the patient notices it themselves,” said Dr. Dunn. “I think it’s critical to identify this early because if you want to treat stroke in the best way possible, you must get the patient immediate medical care. This is not something you can say, ‘let me call my doctor in the morning’.”
Dunn says high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or being diagnosed with diabetes can increase the risk of having a stroke. For most people, making healthy lifestyle choices can lower the risk of having a stroke.