Stroke Symptoms & Warning Symptoms - Everything You Need to Know | Health 101

Health 101

Everything to Know About Stroke Symptoms

Each year, some 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke1. It is the number four cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability.

A stroke can happen to anyone, at any time. Knowing the warning signs of a stroke and planning for an emergency can make a big difference.


Warning Signs

Sometimes a stroke can happen slowly over hours or days, but stroke patients are likely to have one or more sudden symptoms. If you or someone you know experiences any of the following symptoms, call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services immediately.


  • Sudden Weakness
    Sudden weakness or numbness in your arms, legs or face is a typical sign of stroke, especially if it’s on only one side of your body. If you look in the mirror and smile, you may notice that one side of your face droops. If you try and raise both arms, you may have difficulty lifting one side


  • Sudden Confusion
    A stroke can cause sudden confusion. For example, if you’re typing on your computer or having a conversation, you may suddenly have difficulty speaking, thinking or understanding speech.


  • Sudden Changes in Vision
    Loss of vision or difficulty seeing is another symptom of stroke. You may experience blurred or double vision, or suddenly lose your vision completely, in one or both eyes.


  • Sudden Loss of Balance
    Due to weakness on one side, you may experience loss of balance. This can lead to dizziness or difficulty with walking.


  • Sudden Headache
    If you experience a severe headache suddenly with no known cause, you might be having a stroke. This headache may be accompanied by dizziness or vomiting.


Remember, you could be having a stroke even if you do not have all these symptoms.


Think and Act F.A.S.T.

Acting F.A.S.T. can help you or someone you know get the treatment urgently needed. If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. to check for the most common symptoms:



During a stroke, every minute counts! F.A.S.T. treatment can lessen the brain damage that can happen with a stroke.


Don’t Wait to Call for Help

When you or someone you know has a stroke, the brain isn’t getting the blood it needs. Treatment is needed right away to lower chances of brain damage, disability or even death.


Treatments that work best are available only if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within THREE hours of the first symptoms. Patients who don’t arrive at the hospital in time may not be eligible for these treatments.


By knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke, you can take quick action and perhaps save a life — maybe even your own.




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