(WKBN)- The American Heart Association says recognizing the signs of a stroke is important.

Time is essential. It can make the difference between a strong recovery or death.

There is an acronym that experts use to remind people what the immediate signs are to call for help.
It is F.A.S.T. It stands for face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty and time to call 9-1-1.

“If you see those signs or symptoms you definitely want to act as fast as possible to get them taken care of. You’d rather err on the side of safety and get them to the emergency room than wait at any sort amount of time. You’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Mercy Health Non-Invasive Cardiology Manager Jennifer Rager.

Other symptoms include sudden numbness, confusion, trouble seeing or walking and severe headaches. Women can also experience general weakness, memory problems, fatigue, or nausea. Recognizing stroke symptoms can save someone’s life.

A stroke impacts two of the most vital parts of us that keep us alive: The brain and the heart. There are ways you can lessen your risk of stroke.

Living an everyday healthy life is going to help prevent having a stroke. The American Heart Association said that stroke is the #5 killer and leading cause of disability in the United States.

Experts say you need to know your blood pressure. High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer.” It can go unnoticed.

Getting enough sleep, exercising, and regular check ups with your primary care physician are important. However, experts say that no one should assume they are safe from having a stroke.

“Don’t ever think that you’re exempt from it and it’s not necessarily just an ‘older person disease’, young people can have strokes too. Just be aware of it for not only yourself, but your friends and family, so you know what to do in an emergency,” Rager said.

The American Heart Association says 80% of brain diseases can be linked to heart disease. Almost all Americans have at least one cardiovascular health risk.

If you are worried you could be at a higher risk for a stroke, you should talk to your primary care doctor. Knowing the signs of stroke can save a life. Experts say to err of the side of caution.

If you see someone with slurred speech, arm weakness, or face drooping- call 911 immediately.K