Published On: Wed, May 16th, 2018

Stroke: Warning signs you might not know | Health | Life & Style

Stroke symptoms may appear suddenly and without warning.

The NHS uses the phrase ‘FAST’ to help members of the public identify a stroke (Face, Arms, Speech and Time). If someone is unable to carry out normal functions in any of these areas they may be having a stroke.

A stroke is a “life-threatening” medical condition where the blood supply is cut off to part of the brain, according to the NHS.

Another symptom that identifies a stroke is when someone has a sudden loss of or blurred vision.

This means a sufferer may not be able to see properly in either one or both of their eyes.

The NHS identifies this as a possible symptom as well as complete paralysis of one side of the body, dizziness, confusion, difficulty understanding what others are saying, problems with balance and co-ordination, difficulty swallowing, a sudden and very severe headache and a loss of consciousness.

“However, there may [also] be other causes for these symptoms,” advises the NHS on its website.

In regards to FAST the national healthcare provider says it is “important for everyone to be aware of these signs and symptoms, particularly if you live with or care for somebody in a high-risk group, such as someone who is elderly or has diabetes or high blood pressure.”

“There is no way of knowing if symptoms will pass or get better when they first start, so you need to seek immediate medical help,” said the Stroke Association, a UK-based charity focused on the condition.

“A stroke is a medical emergency. Always dial 999. The quicker the person arrives at a specialist stroke unit, the quicker they will receive appropriate treatment.”

They also say a stroke can happen to anyone of any age at any time.

Stroke happens approximately 152,000 times a year, or once every three minutes and 27 seconds.

You are more at risk of stroke if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.

You can reduce your stroke risk by 27 per cent if you take up a new exercise, says the Stroke Association on its website.

Activity may lower blood pressure and help you maintain a healthy weight, making the dangerous condition less likely. 

“Any amount of exercise will help, but if you manage it, you should aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five or more times a week,” says the Association.

“You don’t have to do all 30 minutes at once, it can be broken up into smaller blocks of time throughout the day.”

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Stroke: Warning signs you might not know | Health | Life & Style