Understanding the symptoms of stroke
Strokes can happen at any age and the faster you act when you recognise the symptoms, the better chance you have of surviving and avoiding permanent damage. Learn these signs off by heart and you could save someone’s life – possibly even your own.
The National Stroke Foundation has devised the FAST test, which should give you a good indication whether or not someone has suffered a stroke.
It can be a little more difficult to determine whether you yourself are having a stroke, but there are a few early signs you should be aware of.
- Severe headache (often described as the worst ever)
- Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Difficulty walking or understanding
- Loss of vision
You can reduce your risk of stroke drastically by making changes to your lifestyle. Experts recommend:
- Having regular check-ups, blood tests and monitoring cholesterol
- If you smoke, quit
- Drink less alcohol
- Exercise daily
- Avoid saturated fats, salt and refined sugar
If you suspect you or someone you know is suffering a stroke, call 111 immediately.