A stroke occurs when the blood supply is cut off from part of the brain, either due to a blockage or bleeding in the brain.

It's a serious medical emergency, and each second the patient is untreated increases their chance of permanent brain or nerve damage. That's why, during National Stroke Month, the experts at RWJBarnabas Health are sharing the warning signs of a stroke.

Just remember BE FAST:

  • B - Balance – Sudden loss of balance or sudden onset of dizziness
  • E - Eyes – Sudden change in vision in one or both eyes
  • F- Face – Sudden numbness or drooping on one side of the face
  • A - Arms – Sudden numbness or weakness in the arms 
  • S - Speech – Sudden difficulty or slurring of speech
  • T- Terrible Headache - Sudden terrible or "thunderclap" headache with no known cause

Remember: Time is brain. Every second counts during a stroke, so call 911 immediately if any of these symptoms occur.

Those with a personal or family history of heart disease or high blood pressure are at greater risk of having a stroke, but their doctor can help assess their risk and develop a plan to reduce the risk or respond if it were to occur.

Preventative measures include regularly checking your blood pressure and cholesterol and ensuring they stay within a healthy range, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, refraining from smoking, and exercising regularly.

To learn more about strokes and how they are treated, visit RWJBarnabas Health's stroke informational page.

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