Warning Signs & Symptoms
The following are the most common stroke warning signs. These may be sudden and include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden trouble speaking or understanding, confused
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Women may report unique stroke symptoms, including:
- Sudden face and limb pain
- Sudden hiccups
- Sudden nausea
- Sudden general weakness
- Sudden chest pain
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Sudden palpitations
Go to the ER immediately if experiencing any of the symptoms. Time is brain tissue.
Medical Conditions that Can Increase the Risk of Stroke
- Previous stroke or "mini-stroke", also known as a transient ischemic attack or TIA
- High blood pressure (hypertension is one of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke)
- Heart disease, especially atrial fibrillation (a-fib)
What to Do if You Suspect Someone is Having a Stroke
B.E. F.A.S.T and call 911 if you suspect someone is having stroke. Be sure to look for these symptoms:
B – Balance. Is there a loss of balance? Try asking the person to walk in a straight line.
E – Eyes. Are they seeing double or cannot see out of one eye?
F – Face. Is one side of the face drooping?
A – Arm. Does one arm drift downward when both arms are lifted?
S – Speech. Are they slurring their words?
T – Time. When did the symptoms begin? Be sure to give this information to the paramedics.