News | Published May 11, 2017

May is American Stroke Month

May is American Stroke Month, and a perfect opportunity to talk about prevention, symptoms and treatment of this condition. It’s a matter of knowing what to do, taking action and spreading the word.

Recent studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown – and Mount Nittany Medical Center has seen – that stroke rates among both men and women ages 35 to 44 have been steadily rising. Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the nation, and can happen to anyone at any time.

For National Stroke Awareness Month, Mount Nittany Health encourages you to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of a stroke, by learning the acronym *BE FAST:

  • B- Balance: Loss of balance, headache or dizziness
  • E- Eyes: Blurred vision
  • F- Face: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A- Arm: Is one arm weak or numb?
  • S- Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
  • T- Time: If the person shows any symptoms, even if they go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

As with many health issues, eating a diet rich in vegetables, beans and whole grains and low in saturated fats, salt and added sugars is helpful. Regular physical activity, along with stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake can also help to reduce stroke risk. Of course, working with your doctor on a diet and exercise plan is always your best bet.

To learn more about the Mount Nittany Medical Center stroke program, visit

*BE FAST was developed by Intermountain Healthcare, as an adaptation of the FAST model implemented by the American Stroke Association. Reproduced with permission from Intermountain Healthcare. Copyright 2011, Intermountain Health Care.