Stroke is one of the commonest disease. Every year we loose numerous lives due to stroke. It can affect any one of any age. But older people suffer more frequently. One can recognise the signs of stroke very easily. It occurs suddenly. The death risk of stroke is far more than Covid-19.
B.E.F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you see these signs you must need medical attention.
What is B.E.F.A.S.T.
B. Balance: Does the patient loosing balance suddenly? Is she/he unable to walk in a straight line!
E. Eyes: Is the patient loosing vision suddenly? Or is he/she having sudden deviation of eyes?
F Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile similar in two sides?
A Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak? Ask the person to raise both arms. Is he having weakness in one arm? Is he/she facing difficulty to hold object?
S Speech Difficulty – Is speech abnormal? Is the speech difficult to understand like slurring? Can he/she repeat a sentence?
T Time is very precious – That’s why we tell time is brain. So urgent medical consultation needed.
In India stroke is one of the foremost debilitating disease. 1 out of 4 people will suffer a stroke in his lifetime. Annually around 120 people suffer from stroke out of 1 lakh population. 1 out of 4 will succumb to the illness. The problem is huge and disastrous.
But we can prevent it by little awareness. If we prevent the risk factors we can prevent the disease itself.
The National Stroke Association recommends that you follow these guidelines to help reduce the risk for stroke.
1. Know your blood pressure
Have it checked at regular intervals (at least 3-4 times in a year). If you are hypertensive then check every monthly and keep a diary. If taking antihypertensive medicine then don’t stop it without consulting doctor. Having high blood pressure, or hypertension, increases stroke risk four to six times.
2. Find out if you have any heart problems
If left untreated cardiac problems are roadway to stroke. If you have any symptoms of breathlessness while doing mild work, or black outs etc then visit doctor immediately without neglecting symptoms.
3. Quit smoking and regular drinking
Smoking doubles stroke risk.If you drink alcohol, do so occasionally.
4. Cholesterol check
High cholesterol can indirectly increase stroke risk by putting people at greater risk of heart disease. Talk to your doctor if your total cholesterol is higher than 200 mg/dL or if you LDL cholesterol is higher than 100 mg/dL.
6. If you are diabetic keep sugar under control
People with diabetes have a significantly higher stroke risk.
7. Regular exercise
Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Active people tend to have lower cholesterol levels and better blood circulation.
Stroke is preventable. Awareness can prevent most of the lethal attacks.
Please read and share.
Elkind MS, Sacco RL. Stroke risk factors and stroke prevention. InSeminars in neurology 1998 (Vol. 18, No. 04, pp. 429-440). © 1998 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc..