LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke. It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds, or there is a blockage in the blood supply to the brain. It is one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S.

May is Stroke Awareness Month and one of the most important things to remember is the amount of time it takes to get medical attention for a stroke victim is critical.

But first, you have to be able to quickly recognize a stroke. Remember this acronym B-E-F-A-S-T.

B – Loss of balance – does the person have trouble walking? Lack of coordination?
E – Eye, blurry vision – does the person have problems seeing?
F – Face drooping – can the person smile?
A – Arm weakness – can the person raise both arms or does one, or both drift downward?
S – Speech difficulty – can the person repeat a simple phrase, or is speech slurred?
T – Time to call 911

If you or someone you see is experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to get medical attention.

The American Heart Association reports there’s been an increase in strokes for younger to middle-aged adults.

Many of the prevention strategies are similar to what a person would do to prevent heart disease such as living a healthy lifestyle by controlling high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet, quitting smoking, managing diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all.