Warning Signs of Stroke
Stroke symptoms often happen suddenly, and every person’s symptoms may vary. The warning signs of stroke include:
- Weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, usually on one side of the body
- Trouble speaking or understanding
- Problems with vision, such as dimness or loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Dizziness or problems with balance or coordination
- Problems with movement or walking
- Fainting or seizure
- Severe headaches with no known cause, especially if they happen suddenly
Other less common symptoms of stroke may include:
- Sudden nausea or vomiting not caused by a viral illness
- Brief loss or change of consciousness, such as fainting, confusion, seizures or coma
Transient ischemic attack
Called a mini-stroke, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) can cause many of the same symptoms as a stroke. But TIA symptoms are passing. They can last for a few minutes or up to 24 hours. Always seek immediate medical help if you suspect a stroke or TIA.
The National Stroke Association’s acronym FAST can help you quickly determine whether someone is having a stroke:
- F (Face): Ask the person to smile. Does one side of his or her face droop?
- A (Arms): Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S (Speech): Ask for a simple phrase (such as,“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”) to be repeated. Is speech slurred or hard to understand?
- T (Time): If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
If you or someone else has any of these symptoms, act FAST and call 911. With stroke, time lost is brain lost.