World Stroke Day – 29 October
World Stroke Day observed on 29th October is a global awareness day to spread knowledge about Strokes and their prevention. Stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide and the 2nd leading cause of death, but almost all strokes can be prevented. This is why we celebrate World Stroke Day.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel brings blood to the brain and gets blocked or ruptures. This means the brain can’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs, and without oxygen and nutrients, nerve cells can’t function. Your brain controls your ability to move, feel, think and behave. A brain injury from a stroke could affect any or all of these functions. Strokes normally occur in people 65 and older, but it is still possible for younger people to get one as well.
The day was established by the World Stroke Organization in 2006, is observed worldwide on October 29 to underscore the serious nature and high rates of stroke, raise awareness of the prevention and treatment of the condition, and ensure better care and support for survivors.
Many causes of stroke are completely outside of our control, however, there are some causes which we can prevent, such as high blood pressure or untreated heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation. Physical inactivity is one of a number of risk factors for stroke with the others being, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, poor diet, and smoking.
Regular physical activity reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart attack and stroke. Regular exercise also improves your emotional and physical wellbeing. It is recommended that adults get 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week.
The theme for World Stroke Day 2023 is “Together we are #GreaterThan Stroke.”
FAST: Learn the Warning Signs of a Stroke
A simple method to remember the most widely recognized signs of stroke and how to react is with the abbreviation F.A.S.T.
F: FACE Drooping. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
A: ARM Weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S: SPEECH Difficulty. Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T: TIME to Call 9-1-1. If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
“Time is brain.” The quicker you come for medical care during a stroke, the better outcome you will have.” If you feel you have identified the signs of a stroke, immediately begin the process of getting the person to a hospital.
Stroke is preventable!
Recognizing stroke and focusing on recovery is important. But perhaps most important is knowing what kind of risk factors lead to stroke and working to lessen them. You can prevent stroke. Prevention steps include:
- Get moderate exercise five times a week (or more)
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure with healthy foods and self-monitoring
- Maintain a healthy body composition
- Control atrial fibrillation if you’ve been diagnosed with irregular heartbeats
- Manage diabetes by controlling blood sugar and following your doctor’s advice
- Drink in moderation
- Don’t smoke
Continuing with annual screenings for your blood pressure and cholesterol is a good place to start in the prevention of stroke. Diet and exercise are also key in the prevention of stroke.
Suggested Read: Important Days In October