Strokes: the signs to watch out for
If blood supply is prevented from reaching part of the brain, a stroke will result. Symptoms of a stroke can vary, as they are largely influenced by the stroke’s severity and which area of the brain is affected. However, in this article, we look at the most common signs.
Symptoms tend to emerge abruptly – and you can quickly recall the main symptoms if you use the acronym “F.A.S.T.”. Therefore, if you care for someone who is elderly or has high blood pressure or diabetes – and, thus, is at high risk of a stroke – you could benefit from learning about these signs:
The person’s face – or just mouth or eye – might have drooped on one side. Ask that person to smile. One side of the face might remain drooping, and the smile may look uneven – if they can smile at all.
You should also ask the person to try lifting both arms. They might struggle to do so – or keep them raised – if a stroke has weakened or numbed one of these arms.
Ask the individual to attempt uttering a simple sentence. Their speech might show signs of abnormality; for example, it may be slurred or incomprehensible. The person might even struggle to speak at all, however awake they may appear.
Time to call 999
If you see any of the above signs or symptoms, even if they quickly disappear, don’t hesitate to dial 999. You could reduce long-term effects of – or even the risk of death from – a stroke.
Are there other signs to consider?
The F.A.S.T. test can be used to identify the majority of strokes. However, on occasion, a stroke can give rise to other symptoms and signs which you could benefit from learning about.
For example, one side of the person’s body could become entirely paralysed, or they might suffer abruptly lost or blurred vision. They could also become dizzy or confused – or struggle to comprehend what you or someone else says to them.
They might also have difficulty swallowing; this is a condition known in a medical sense as dysphagia. This could be accompanied by a sudden, extreme headache causing a blinding pain.
However, you should remember to initially use the F.A.S.T. test - as, if you see any of the other symptoms, there could be causes other than a stroke. For dealing with strokes or health aftercare issues arising from them, our nursing staff from Kentish Homecare can assist.