This month we want to raise awareness of Stroke including the signs and symptoms to look out for. Show support by wearing purple this month. A Stroke occurs every 5 minutes in the UK. It can happen to anyone at any age and time. There are around 80,000 people a year who are admitted to hospital with a Stroke. There are approximately 1 million Stroke survivors in England.
Signs of a Stroke:
Face: can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?
Arms: can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech Problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?
Time: The quicker the person seeks help the quicker they will receive appropriate treatment
Other symptoms of Stroke:
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including legs, hands or feet
- Difficulty finding words or speaking in clear sentences
- Sudden blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes
- Sudden memory loss or confusion, and dizziness, or a sudden fall
- A sudden, severe headaches
Risk factors of a Stroke
- Age – commonly occurring over 55 years old
- Gender- women are at a higher risk than men due to birth control pills and pregnancy
- Prior stroke
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Some blood disorders e.g. sickle cell anaemia
- Heart disease
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Sleep apnea
A Transient Ischaemic Attack (mini Stroke)
A TIA is similar to a stroke, but the only difference is that the blockage usually caused by a blood clot is temporary and the blood supply returns to normal causing symptoms to disappear. Approximately 1 in 3 people who have a TIA will eventually have a stroke.
How to prevent a Stroke
- Decrease stress levels
- Have regular medical checkups
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight
- Get your blood pressure checked regularly
- Be physically active – Try to do 30 minutes of exercise a day
by Anita Singadia, Osteopath and Sports Massage Therapy