DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Throughout the entire month of May, individuals from across the country take the time to educate themselves about stroke awareness.

2 NEWS spoke to Angie Mickle, a Stroke survivor and Dr. Tim Schoonover, medical director for Kettering Health’s Stroke Program about the importance of people understanding what a Stroke is and why it’s important to know what it looks like.

What is a Stroke?

According to the American Stroke Association, a Stroke is a disease affecting the arteries in the brain.

“A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures),” the Association says on their website. “When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.”

There are five different types of strokes:

Eighty-seven percent of strokes are caused by Ischemic Strokes. Ischemic Strokes happen when vessels are blocked by blood clots, causing there to not be enough necessary oxygen to be directed into the brain.

A Hemorrhagic Stroke is caused when the vessel “ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain.”

Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA) are when a clot is serious, but temporary. It is commonly referred to as a Mini Stroke.

Another type of Stroke is the Cryptogenic Stroke. This type can be tricky, since there is no apparent cause for why the stroke was caused.

The Brain Stem Stroke is when people are in a “locked-in” state, where people typically are not able to speak or move below the neck.

“It’s very important to be aware of the signs and symptoms, because we do have good care for Stroke, but you have to get to the hospital fast,” Dr. Schoonover said. “We want everyone to learn more and help those that need help with that.”

Spotting a Stroke F.A.S.T.

The acronym F.A.S.T. is important to remember when recognizing a Stroke. You should always be looking for symptoms when interacting with others.

F – Face Drooping

A – Arm Weakness

S – Speech Difficulty

T – Time

Time is one of the most important things. If you suspect you or someone else is suffering from Stroke symptoms, you are urged to immediately call 911. The faster someone can get to a hospital and receive medical attention and care, the better chance for them to get treated and survive.

“If you have a Stroke, that 1 in 6 people have a Stroke, and if you are a Stroke survivor, there’s a lot to it,” Mickle said. “You have to give yourself patience and time.”

Strokes are the fifth cause of death in the US, the American Stroke Association reports.

To learn more about Strokes, click here.