HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — May is Stroke Awareness Month and the idea is to make people aware of stroke symptoms and treatments, according to Dr. Ameer Hassan.

Dr. Hassan says there are treatments available that can bring a stroke victim back to baseline status where you are able to go back to work and be fully functional again.

In a population prone to heart disease and diabetes those conditions play a factor in strokes, says Dr. Hassan.

“Unfortunately, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and just our diet down here, we need to try to eat more fruits and vegetables. We should be exercising 30 minutes a day, seeing our doctor making sure we take our diabetes medications, and our blood pressure medications so that we decrease our chance of having a stroke,” said Hassan.

BE-FAST

One way to determine if you are having a stroke is to BE-FAST (Balance Eyes, Face, Arms, Speech, and Time)

B is for balance issues if you’re dizzy. E is for eyes, so if you have blurry vision or double vision. F is for face if you have a facial droop. A is for arm or leg weakness, S is for slurred speech, and T is time to call 911. Once you get symptoms, you have to call 911 and get to the closest emergency room as soon as possible and save the brain,” said Hassan.

For more information visit Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology and the Stroke Research & Education Foundation.