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Types of Strokes and Symptoms of Strokes

Symptoms of Strokes

Types of Strokes and Symptoms of Strokes

A stroke is a brain attack, cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain. There are two types of stroke:

  • Ischemic stroke occurs when arteries are blocked by the gradual buildup of plaque and other fatty deposits or blood clots. Almost 85% of all strokes are ischemic.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and blood leaks into the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes account for about 15% of all strokes, yet they are responsible for more than 30% of all stroke deaths.

Stroke symptoms

It is important to recognize symptoms of stroke and act quickly. Symptoms of stroke in women and men include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking and trouble understanding others
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness and loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Symptoms unique to women include:

  • Sudden face and limb pain
  • Sudden hiccups
  • Sudden nausea
  • Sudden general weakness
  • Sudden chest pain
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sudden palpitations


Every minute counts for patients who are having a stroke. When you know what signs to look for, you can get emergency medical help quickly.

Remembering BE FAST will help you detect stroke symptoms:

  • Balance: Does the person have a loss of balance? Are they dizzy or walking differently?
  • Eyes: Can the person see out of both eyes? Ask if they have sudden vision loss or blurry or double vision.
  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase (such as, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”). Are the words slurred or hard to understand?
  • Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
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