Signs and symptoms of a stroke as Susan Boyle reveals she experienced one

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Live Results 2" Episode 1415 -- Pictured: Susan Boyle -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images) (NBC via Getty Images)

Susan Boyle has revealed she has suffered a stroke, which left her unsure if she would be able to perform again.

During her return to the Britain's Got Talent final the 62-year-old singer, who rose to fame after coming second on the show in 2009, shared that she had experienced a mini stroke last April.

Asked by hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly how it felt to be back on Britain's Got Talent after 14 years Boyle said: "It feels great. It's really good."

She added: "It's extra special for me actually, last April there, I suffered a minor stroke and I fought like crazy to be back on stage and I have done it."

Head judge Simon Cowell went on to say how good it was to see Boyle: "I knew you weren't well but if anyone was going to come back it was you."

Read more: Husband saves wife’s life after spotting signs she was having a stroke

Chris Fountain has revealed he has suffered a mini stroke, pictured in June 2019. (Getty Images)
Chris Fountain has revealed he has suffered a mini stroke, pictured in June 2019. (Getty Images) (Getty)

Boyle isn't the only celebrity to share they have experienced a stroke. Last year former Coronation Street actor Chris Fountain revealed he has suffered a mini stroke, which left him “speaking like a toddler”.

The 35-year-old, who played Tommy Duckworth in the soap, said he spent five days in a London hospital last August after waking up at home unable to speak properly.

Doctors discovered he had suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) – known as a mini stroke – after a blood clot lodged in his brain.

Read more: Hailey Bieber's hospital dash – how to spot stroke symptoms

What is a transient ischaemic attack?

According to the NHS, a transient ischaemic attack – or mini stroke – is caused by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to part of the brain, which results in a lack of oxygen getting to the brain.

This can cause sudden symptoms similar to a stroke, such as speech and visual disturbance, and numbness or weakness in the face, arms and legs.

Meanwhile the Stroke Association says a TIA is the same as a stroke, except that the symptoms only last for a short amount of time.

“This is because the blockage that stops the blood getting to your brain is temporary,” the site explains.

A TIA is a warning sign that you may be at risk of having a full stroke in the near future.

What are the signs and symptoms of a TIA?

The NHS uses the F.A.S.T acronym to list the main signs as:

  • Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.

  • Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.

  • Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake.

  • Time – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.

The Stroke Association says there are some other common signs of TIA and stroke to look out for.

They include:

• Sudden weakness on one side in your arms, hands or legs.

• Sudden blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes.

• Sudden memory loss or confusion.

• Dizziness or a sudden fall.

A TIA is a medical emergency, the same as a stroke. If you spot the signs of a TIA or stroke, call 999. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms pass.

If you didn’t get medical help right away, get an urgent appointment with your GP or go to an NHS urgent treatment centre to get your symptoms checked as soon as possible.

Read more: Women share what it's like to have facial paralysis from Bell's palsy: 'This is not my face'

Signs of a stroke can include sudden dizziness or blurred vision. (Getty Images)
Signs of a stroke can include sudden dizziness or blurred vision. (Getty Images) (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Causes of a transient ischaemic attack

As the NHS explains during a TIA, one of the blood vessels that supply your brain with blood becomes blocked.

This blockage is usually caused by a blood clot that's formed elsewhere in your body and has travelled to the blood vessels supplying the brain.

However, it can also be caused by pieces of fatty material or air bubbles.

Risk factors of a TIA

The NHS says there are certain things, which could increase your chances of having a TIA, including:

  • smoking

  • high blood pressure (hypertension)

  • obesity

  • high cholesterol levels

  • regularly drinking an excessive amount of alcohol

  • having a type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation

  • having diabetes

People over 55 years of age and people of Asian, African or Caribbean descent are also at a higher risk of having a TIA.

Treatment of a TIA

Although the symptoms of a TIA resolve in a few minutes or hours, according to the Stroke Association you'll likely need treatment to reduce the chance of another clot entering your brain.

They may include: Blood-thinning medication and treating blocked or damaged arteries in the neck.

You'll also likely to be given advice about lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your stroke risk.

Additional reporting PA.