Mind & Body

How To Recognize A Stroke, FAST

Strokes are no joke. But, if treated within three hours of symptoms, major disability can be prevented by at least 30 percent. Let's explore four simple tips for recognizing stroke symptoms quickly.

Related: Beauty Parlor Stroke Syndrome Can Be Caused By A Simple Hair Wash

Four Tips To Save A Life

For those of you wondering what, exactly, a stroke is, it's an attack on your brain. Here's the Mayo Clinic's description of the process: "A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die." This could happen due to a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or bursted blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). So yes, it's an emergency. Approximately 795,000 Americans die of a stroke each year, and most are over the age of 65.

Related: How Do Owls Turn Their Heads So Far Without Dying Of A Stroke?

But, there is good news! If you learn how to A-C-T fast, you can make a huge difference in a stroke sufferer's recovery. Here's a handy mnemonic device from the National Stroke Association to help you recognize common stroke symptoms:

F, for face: Ask the person to smile. Notice if their smile is uneven, or if one side of their face droops.

A, for arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. See if their arm drops down or if it seems numb, weak, or unsteady.

S, for speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. If their speech is slurred, this is a warning sign.

T, for time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 (or your country's emergency number) immediately.

Related: A Broken Heart Is More Likely To Suffer A Heart Attack

When In Doubt, Just Act Fast

According to Healthline, you should also look for signs of fainting, weakness, shortness of breath, confusion, behavioral changes, irritation, hallucination, nausea, pain, seizures, and even hiccups. If you're unsure, err on the side of caution and get emergency help. You could save a life.

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Watch And Learn: Our Most Interesting Content About Strokes

What's A Stoke? An Animated Explanation

To put it simply, a stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is cut off.

How Do Owls Turn Their Heads So Far Without Dying of Stroke?

For one, an owl's vertebral artery travels through a hole in the vertebrae that is 10 times larger than it needs to be, giving it a lot of wiggle room as the spine twists.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Owls have twice as many vertebrae in their necks as we do. 01:11

  2. The canal in owls' vertebrae that houses the ascending vertebral artery is 10 times larger than the artery itself, giving it a lot of room to move. 02:04

  3. Blood pools in arteries at the base of the head, possibly to help provide a fresh source of blood to the brain when regular blood flow is restricted during an extreme head turn. 02:51

Written by Curiosity Staff February 6, 2017

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