May is Stroke Awareness Month. Here’s What You Should Know.

Did you know that on average, one American dies from a stroke every four minutes? While stroke survival rates are high, the CDC states that it is one of the top causes of long-term disability in the United States.

Here at EZ-ACCESS, we want to make sure that everyone is able to live happier, healthier lives. That’s why we’re going to talk about some of the risk factors that increase your chance of having a stroke, as well as how you can intervene if you think someone is having a stroke!

A number of the risk factors for a stroke come from lifestyle choices that can be changed, including:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Too much LDL cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity

A high percentage of Americans fall into one of these risk categories. If this describes you, it’s not too late to start taking your health seriously! Even small steps can make a difference in the long run.

Those who are proactive in living a healthy life can still be at risk of having a stroke. Age and genetics can play a role, and if you have had a stroke in the past then you have a higher chance of having another.

The good news is that there are still additional prevention measures that you can take. If you think that you or someone else is having a stroke, you can mitigate its effects by taking immediate action. Some of the signs include sudden confusion, dizziness, headaches, trouble seeing or numbness on one side of the body. Since these symptoms also show up in other conditions, there’s an easy test you can do to see if someone is having a stroke, called “F.A.S.T.”

Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?

Arms: Have the person lift both arms. Does one of them slowly drift down?
Speech: Tell the person to repeat a simple phrase, such as “The sky is blue.” Is their speech slurred or hard to understand?

Time: If someone is exhibiting these symptoms, then time is of the essence! Call 911 immediately, even if the symptoms go away.

If you have been affected by a stroke, EZ-ACCESS is here to help. Our accessibility solutions can make your home more accessible, as well as allow you to enjoy life no matter where it takes you.