Stay aware for Action on Stroke Month

May is Action on Stroke Month, an initiative that aims to raise awareness of the symptoms and risk factors associated with stroke.

In the UK, stroke is the third biggest killer behind heart disease and cancer. Thanks to advances in science and medicine and better awareness, the number of people dying from stroke has almost halved in the last two decades.

However, an ageing population, rising obesity rates, and unhealthy lifestyles mean many people are at higher risk than ever.

When a stroke happens, urgent medical treatment is vital – knowing how to recognise the signs and symptoms in yourself and your loved ones could save a life.

Know the signs

Strokes happen when the blood supply to the brain is restricted or stopped. When this happens, brain cells begin to die, which can lead to serious complications including disability, brain injury and even death.

The FAST test is an internationally recognised test to help people spot the signs of a stroke or mini-stroke. Learn the acronym and what each letter represents.

  • F: Facial weakness
    People suffering from stroke often experience dropping of the mouth and eyes. Can the person smile? Are they having trouble controlling facial muscles?
  • A: Arm weakness
    Weakness or numbness in one or both arms is the second sign. Can the person lift both arms and keep them there?
  • S: Speech problems
    Slurred words and muddled speech are the third major indicator that a stroke has occurred. Ask them to repeat a simple phrase to test listening and speaking.
  • T: Time to call 999
    If any of these symptoms are present, call 999 right away; quick medical intervention could save a life.

Reducing your risk

High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and a risk factor that can be managed at least in part through lifestyle changes.

Smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise and unhealthy diet are also risk factors within our control –  if you have high blood pressure, speak to your GP about how you can make manageable lifestyle changes to minimise your risk.

Atrial fibrillation – a form of irregular heartbeat – also raises the risk of blood clots and stroke. This can be detected during a routine medical check or ECG test.

Do you know the signs and symptoms of stroke?



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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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10th Jun 2019
Thanks for voting!
Hi Mike,Nice to hear from a fellow survivor. My stroke was last year and each day since then I am surprised that I am still around to see and hear this wonderful world. I have adjusted my life and accept that certain things take longer to do, I have learned to write again and use the PC can tie my laces ,dress myself and can do cleanng and cooking, Like you I find the tiredness very frustrating but I should expect that to occurr more often as I am 86yrs old or so I have been told. Until the stroke I was very active and travelled frequently but I have stopped driving and use taxis, just go to local places for the classes and exercise group. I am hoping to get confident enough to use my bus pass again but am still using a stick and sometimes am a bit like a drunk wobbling along. Never mind what others tell you, listen to your own body, take time to look around and always you will find others who are worse off. Every day is a bonus so try to keep a sense of humour, never give up and write again. Till then XX
7th May 2019
Thanks for voting!
I had my stroke in 2013 at that time I hadn't really a clue but have gained a great deal of understanding since then. Although I had I believe a good recovery I still find some weakness, feeling so tired though is the worst what with irregular sleep patterns alongside my other issues just makes it harder to carry out what I used to do so have to pace myself a lot more and prepare for any distance journey. The beauty is that I am still here and can enjoy my children, my grandchildren and my family, that is priceless x
27th May 2017
Thanks for voting!
Thank you for the information.
Pat ( Tricia 993)
26th May 2017
Thanks for voting!
Thanks for that very informative information
26th May 2017
Thanks for voting!
Thanks. Very helpfu.

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