Strokes are life-threatening attacks that block or burst the brain’s blood vessels, and even strokes that aren’t fatal can result in permanent damage. The best way to reduce the risk of death and permanent disability once a stroke happens is to get help as soon as possible. That means knowing how to spot the signs of stroke right away, which include the following…
Partial paralysis on one side of the body is usually the first sign of a stroke. This pain is often localized in the arm, and the affected arm might be difficult to raise.
When experiencing a stroke, these common sensations may occur:
- tingling up the arm or hand
- weakness in the arm or hand
- numbness in the arm or hand
- loss of sensation (sensitivities to hot, cold, etc) in the arm or hand
As it turns out, the arms aren’t the only body parts that can weaken during a stroke…
It’s also common for people to experience partial paralysis in the legs. Often, this symptom is restricted to just one leg or the other, and it can lead to imbalance and difficulty walking.
When experiencing stroke, it’s common to notice the following:
- tingling in the leg or foot
- weakness in the leg or foot
- numbness in the leg or foot
- loss of sensation (sensitivities to hot, cold, etc.) in the leg or foot
If there’s weakness in other locations of the body, it’s a good sign that a stroke is to blame…
Partial face paralysis is perhaps one of the most classic signs of stroke, as well as one of the easiest to recognize. Those who are suffering a stroke may notice drooping, weakness, or numbness on one side of the face. People with partial face paralysis might also have a difficult time talking or swallowing. They might also display an uneven smile or slur words.
Signs of a stroke also have a lot to do with…
Altered vision in one or both eyes can be another sign of a stroke. People may notice double or blurred vision, dimness, sensitivity to light, or even partial vision loss.
Vision problems related to a stroke can be permanent. They can result in depth-perception issues, dry eyes, or complete blindness if both eyes were affected.
Dizziness can also indicate a stroke is at play…
Depending on where a stroke occurs, someone may experience dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance. A stroke naturally means restricted bloodflow, and when blood isn’t getting to the back of the head, specifically the brainstem or cerebellum where the brain controls balance and coordination, it can lead to intense dizziness.
Dizziness associated with stroke may cause a spinning or rocking sensation, an unsteady gait, or lightheadedness.
The following stroke symptom is enough to send you to a medical provider…
Nausea is a less common but very serious sign of stroke. People usually experience this symptom when the stroke causes blood vessels to burst. This can lead to bleeding in the brain, which requires immediate medical attention. Disability or death can occur if this symptom is not treated properly, so call 911 immediately if you or someone you know experience it.
Yet another serious indication of a stroke is the following…
A stroke happens inside the head, so it’s only natural that people can experience a headache during this event.
Headaches can have many causes. In fact, sometimes people with chronic headaches or migraines may not even know they are having a stroke, attributing their headache to those conditions rather than a stroke. But, a stroke might be to blame if the headache is intense, sudden, or has no apparent cause.
Of course, this symptom may naturally be accompanied by an overall altered mental state…
When someone is suffering a stroke, they can show signs of an altered mental state, including problems concentrating, difficulty understanding what someone is saying, and difficulty speaking coherently.
Ask someone you suspect suffering a stroke to repeat a simple sentence. If there is any difficulty, seek medical attention right away.
Other complicated symptoms of stroke include…
Seizures & Fainting
Seizures and fainting are severe symptoms of stroke and can preclude serious injury, disability, or even death. Those experiencing a stroke and seizure may experience a lack of awareness, loss of consciousness, intense fatigue or drowsiness, or uncontrollable jerking of the limbs. Before a seizure, someone might also experience alterations in taste, smell, and touch.
If these symptoms occur, it’s time to think F.A.S.T. and call 911…
F.A.S.T. is a handy acronym for noticing the signs of stroke. It stands for:
- Face drooping: Ask someone to smile. Notice if one side of the person’s face seems to sag.
- Arm weakness: Ask someone to raise their arms. Notice if someone has difficult raising one arm or one arm drifts down.
- Speech difficulty: Ask someone to repeat some phrases. Notice if they slur their speech or have issues repeating or remembering it.
- Time to call 911: Get professional help right away.
When help arrives, medical personnel will want the following information:
- When the symptoms began
- Patient’s medical history, including any previous strokes or bleeding inside the brain
- Whether there is metal in/on the patient
- Any medications the patient currently takes
- If the patient suffers from a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia