Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms

Though the signs and symptoms of a stroke may appear subtle, you should take them extremely seriously.

Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear. Don’t wait to see if symptoms stop. Remember that signs of a stroke can be different for different people.

Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone you love may be having a stroke:

  • Sudden confusion or difficulty in speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg, often on one side of the body
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes. This can include blurred, blackened or double vision.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause, possibly accompanied by vomiting
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or a loss of balance or coordination

When you know what signs to look for, you can help someone having a stroke get the emergency medical help they need. B.E.F.A.S.T is an acronym to help you quickly determine that someone might be having a stroke:

  • B: Balance or dizziness
  • E: Eyesight is blurry or lost in one or both eyes
  • F: Face or smile is uneven
  • A: Arm is suddenly weak
  • S: Speech is slurred or hard to understand.
  • T: Time is critical; call 911 right away.

If you or a loved one exhibits any symptoms of stroke, call 911 as soon as possible.

Pay attention to when the signs and symptoms of stroke begin, because the length of time they have been present can affect your treatment options. The most effective stroke treatments are only available if stroke is recognized and diagnosed within the first three hours of the first symptoms.