GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, an important time to increase understanding about the signs and symptoms for stroke and what to do if you or someone you know is having one. 

Doctors at University of Michigan Health West say learning the acronym BE FAST to help identify a stroke can save a life:

B: Loss of Balance

E: Eyes have blurred vision

F: Facial drooping

A: Arm weakness or numbness

S: Speech problems

T: Time to call 9-1-1

Time is critical when someone is having a stroke, because every minute without oxygen to the brain means a worse outcome.

There is good news: 80 to 90% of strokes can be prevented. Lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and quitting smoking can all help prevent strokes.

For a conversation with Dr. Jeffery Fletcher with University of Michigan Health West, watch the video in the player above.