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.
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.