May is National Stroke Awareness Month and according to the Iowa Department of Public Health, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Iowa. Lynn Fisher from Washington County Public Health says a common myth is that a stroke cannot be prevented. She says, however, about 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by working with your health care provider.
Fisher says knowing your blood pressure, stop smoking, knowing your cholesterol level, controlling weight, managing your diet and exercise and limiting alcohol use are some ways to prevent strokes. She adds knowing the signs of a stroke can be extremely helpful in stopping the long-term effects of a stroke.
Any sudden numbness in the face, arms or legs, sudden confusion, difficulty in vision, trouble with walking or dizziness are signs of a possible stroke. Fisher says medical professionals can administer a clot-breaking drug to stop the effects of a stroke if help is sought right away.
For more on stroke prevention, listen to today’s Washington Page during the morning and mid-day magazines.