Know the Warning Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

The following are the most common stroke warning signs. Go to the ER immediately if experiencing any of the symptoms. A quick response can help reduce damage.

Symptoms 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

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)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease, especially atrial fibrillation (a-fib)

What to Do if You Suspect Someone is Having a Stroke

Perform these simple checks in order.

Balance: Does the person have a sudden loss of balance?
Eyes: Has the person lost vision in one or both eyes?
Face: Does the person's face look uneven?
Arm: Is one arm hanging down?
Speech: Is the person's speech slurred? Do they have trouble speaking or seem confused?
Time: Call 9-1-1 now!

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