Preventing a Stroke; Know the Signs

Stroke Awareness Month

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Learn how to manage your risk of a stroke with these resources.

Our nationally-recognized stroke team at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center provides rapid, high-level diagnosis and care at any hour. As a Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center, we’re certified by national leaders for meeting advanced standards of stroke care. The center is part of the Providence Spokane Neuroscience Institute, a comprehensive, integrated neuroscience program that treats conditions of the brain and spine. Learn more about our stroke program.

Regular checkups, exercise, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle – including knowing and managing risk factors – can help prevent or limit the damage of a stroke. To prevent or limit the damage of stroke, call 911 if you see symptoms of stroke.

Symptoms of stroke start suddenly and include:

  • Confusion or difficulty understanding others
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache
  • Trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Weakness or numbness in your face, arm or leg, often on just one side

Risk factors for stroke include:

  • Hypertension
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • Carotid Artery Disease
  • Heart disease
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Sickle Cell anemia 
  • Prior stroke or TIA

Learn more about stroke risk factors by visiting

Stroke is a symptom of vascular or blood vessel disease. Most strokes are due to a build-up of plaque in your blood vessels. To reduce plaque build-up:

  • Exercise
  • If you are diabetic, control blood glucose levels
  • If you smoke, quit
  • Manage cholesterol levels
  • Manage weight
  • Monitor blood pressure regularly and treat high blood pressure