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?
Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own - about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example - you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have - whenever you need them, 24 hours a day, every day. Please get in touch now.
Click below to submit your question online.
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)
- What’s the best way to stay fit and active as you age? - January 17, 2020
- Clever uses for onions - January 16, 2020
- Free painting tutorials you can watch online - January 14, 2020
- Slow Cooker Recipes - January 10, 2020
- Are Harry and Meghan making the right decision? - January 9, 2020
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!