What are the symptoms of stroke?

The American Stroke Association lists these warning signs of stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

IF YOU NOTICE ONE OR MORE OF THESE SIGNS, DON'T WAIT. STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY. CALL 911 OR YOUR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES. GET TO A HOSPITAL RIGHT AWAY!

If you are with someone who is having stroke symptoms, immediately call 911 or EMS. Expect the person to protest. This is common. Don't take "no" for an answer. Get to a hospital right away.

If you think someone might be having a stroke, ask him or her to do three simple things. If they can smile, raise both arms and keep them up, and speak a simple sentence coherently. If they can't do these three things, call 911, for they may be having a stroke. However, keep in mind that even if they are capable of completing these small tasks, they may still need medical attention.

To learn more:

Warning Signs
(American Stroke Association)
Learn the warning signs of stroke and why you must act quickly.
https://www.strokeassociation.org/en/about-stroke/stroke-symptoms
Know Stroke. Know the Signs. Act in Time
(National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
Learn the signs of stroke and why you need to act quickly. Getting treatment within 60 minutes can prevent disability. Includes a video.
https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/all-disorders
Identify Stroke Email – Three Simple Questions
(www.hoax-slayer.com)
This site is dedicated to sifting out the truth from the Internet. This particular page explains what is accurate and misleading about the email currently circulating on the subject of stroke identification.
https://www.hoax-slayer.com/identify-stroke.html

next » How do I know if I am at risk of stroke?

Written by: Janice C. May, M.P.A.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Monday February 04, 2019 10:36 AM