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Symptoms of a stroke

Strokes are a medical emergency and prompt treatment is essential. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to result.

If you think you, or someone you know is suffering from a stroke you need to call 999 for an ambulance immediately.

People over 65 are most at risk from suffering stroke, but it can affect any age group. Smoking, obesity, poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption also increase a person’s chances of suffering a stroke.

The symptoms of stroke vary from person to person, because different strokes will affect different parts of the brain.

The symptoms of a stroke usually come on suddenly, and can include:

  • Numbness or weakness down one side, ranging in severity from weakness in your hand, to complete paralysis of the whole side of your body.
  • Weakness in your face, which can make you drool saliva.
  • Dizziness.
  • Communication problems: difficulty talking and understanding what others are saying.
  • Problems with balance and coordination.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Severe headaches.
  • Loss of consciousness (in severe cases).

There is a simple test you can do to recognise stroke in other people.