Caring

Alex O'Brien

Understanding the symptoms of stroke

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.

FAST 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.

Related links:

How to care for someone with depression

The moment an Alzheimer’s patient recognises daughter

How to lead a brain-healthy lifestyle