(CBS) — The number of people dying from strokes in Illinois has been dropping but health officials say the numbers should be much better.

Dr. Kerri Remmel is a stroke specialist and says there are obvious warning signs to watch out for and there are lifestyle changes you can make to prevent cardiovascular disease but people aren’t necessarily listening.

“If we treat blood pressure and get it back to normal if we treat atrial fibrillation if we get those cholesterol numbers down if we’re active in our lives, if we control diabetes then we can reduce the risk for stroke,” said Dr. Kerri.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing brain tissue to die.

Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body, confusion, trouble speaking, vision problems, dizziness and loss of balance or coordination are some of the warning signs you may be having a stroke.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.