F – Face: is the face uneven or does it droop on one side?
A – Arm: is there a weakness or numbness in an arm? Does one arm drift down when held out?
S – Speech: is the person having trouble speaking?
T – Time: if there are signs of a stroke seek help immediately. The sooner the treatment the better the chances of recovery.
There are the various treatments a stroke may involve:
- Medicine to break up blood clots
- Medicine to prevent blood clots
- Discontinuation of blood thinning medications, for strokes that involve bleeding in the brain
- Carotid Endarterectomy, or clearing blockages in the neck arteries
TIA is a Transient Ischemic Attack and is like a stroke but no permanent brain damage occurs. This occurs as the blood vessel in the brain is blocked only for a short time, and re-opens. A TIA is a warning that a larger stroke may occur.
Stroke prevention includes the following:
- Stop smoking
- Get regular exercise
- Weight loss
- Eat a healthy diet low in fat and rich in fruits and vegetables
- Limit salt intake
- Limit alcohol
- Good blood pressure control
- Cholesterol medications, usually a statin
- Blood thinner such as aspirin
- Good diabetic control