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May 08

National Stroke Awareness Month

Posted by Scott  filed under Stroke

Strokes are exceedingly dangerous. They can happen to anyone at any time, and they cause thousands of deaths of every year. National Stroke Health Awareness Month in May was created to raise awareness of this problem, and of the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke. This May, everyone should take the chance to get educated on the causes, symptoms, and prevention of strokes.  The CDC reports 3 out of 5 people recognize the symptoms and to call 9-1-1; this awareness effort hopes to push that to 5 out of 5 -  so tell a friend!

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is an attack in the brain. It is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate professional help. During a stroke, the brain doesn’t get all the oxygen and nutrients it needs, which makes brain cells die. There are several different types of stroke, including ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Ischemic strokes are caused by blocked arteries, and hemorrhagic strokes are caused by blood leaking into the brain (McIntosh).


Strokes occur when the blood flow to the brain is blocked. The exact causes of stroke are different depending on the type of stroke and the person experiencing it; they are more likely to affect people who:

  • Are overweight
  • Have a family history of stroke
  • Are 55 years or older
  • Don’t exercise regularly
  • Smoke
  • Drink heavily


Symptoms of a stroke can differ person to person. Women have reported experiencing different symptoms than men.  Common symptoms for both genders include:

  • Sudden trouble seeing
  • Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs, usually on one side of the body
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • A sudden headache
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble walking
  • Loss of balance

Some symptoms women have reported that are not as common in men include:

  • Seizures
  • Hiccups
  • Fainting
  • General weakness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation


Almost all strokes can be prevented by making sensible, healthy lifestyle choices, like:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Getting regular physical activity
  • Limiting the alcohol you drink
  • Don’t smoke. If you do smoke and want to learn how to quit, visit the American Lung Association for tips here:


American Lung Association. (2019). “How To Quit Smoking.” Retrieved from:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). “Preventing Stroke: Healthy Living.” Retrieved from:

McIntosh, James. (2017). “Everything you need to know about stroke.” Retrieved from:

Million Hearts. “National Stroke Awareness Month.” Retrieved from:

Scaccia, Annamarya. (2018). “Signs of Stroke in Men: How to Identify a Stroke and Seek Help.” Retrieved from:

Scaccia, Annamarya. (2018). “Symptoms of Stroke in Women: How to Identify a Stroke and Seek Help.” Retrieved from: