How to recognize the symptoms of a stroke

Strokes has long been associated with old age but in recent times we hear of young people also falling victims to strokes.

Strokes can affect anyone regardless of age and gender and it is important that we are aware of their symptoms.

There are different types of strokes, but the symptoms of some strokes disappear within 24 hours and these are known as transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or mini strokes.

Transient ischaemic attacks occur when there is a temporary disruption to the blood supply in a part of the brain.

When this happens it can lead to brain cells dying.

Symptoms of mini strokes include slurred speech, blurry vision and numbness in the face, arms and legs.

Some people don’t realize that they have had a stroke because TIA doesn’t usually last long.

The symptoms of a mini-stroke are usually resolved within 24 hours, but having TIA increases you chances of having a full-blown stroke in future.

So how do you recognize when you have a stroke?

Remember the word FAST.

FAST stands for Face-Arms-Speech-Time.

Face: when someone is experiencing a stroke their faces may drop to one side, the person may also experience difficulty smiling and their mouth or eye may droop.

Arms: The affected person may also have difficulty lifting their arms and keeping it elevated due to a weakness of the arms

Speech: The patient speech may be be slurred or might be unable to speak at all.

Time: If you experience any of the following symptoms its time to call for help. Call for an ambulance immediately.

Though FAST usually covers the basic stroke symptoms there are other stroke symptoms that should not be ignored and these include: dizziness, confusion, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), difficulty understanding what people are saying and a loss of consciousness.

Even though symptoms of stroke can rectify themselves within a few minutes it is important that the affected person seeks medical help to prevent the occurrence of a debilitating stroke.

If you suspect that you have a stroke seek the services of a Doctor immediately.

Strokes are very serious and potentially life threatening.


Photo by stockimages. Published on 19 August 2013
Stock photo – Image ID: 100194909