When discussing stroke symptoms, we often say “time is brain.” Every hour that a stroke is left untreated results in the loss of 120 million nerve cells and accelerates aging of the brain by 3.6 years. Recognizing the symptoms of stroke and seeking immediate medical attention can not only save lives but also prevent lasting neurological deficits for stroke victims.
Call 911 immediately if you or someone else suddenly experiences any of the following symptoms:
- Numbness, weakness, or paralysis of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech or overall confusion
- Difficulty seeing out of one or both eyes, such as blurred, double, or lost vision
- Difficulty walking, loss of balance, or loss of coordination
- Severe headache with no known cause, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, or an altered state of consciousness
Think F.A.S.T. for Stroke Symptoms
In other words, think F.A.S.T.:
Facial drooping – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arm weakness – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech difficulty – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase, such as “the sky is blue.” Is their speech slurred or strange?
Time – Call 911 immediately if you observe any of these signs, even if they go away. Note the time they began.
TIA and Stroke Symptoms
Sometimes stroke symptoms disappear within minutes. This may be a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is also known as a “mini stroke.” Symptoms of a TIA resemble the symptoms of a full-blown stroke but only last a few minutes because they are caused by a temporary blockage in the blood supply to brain. Although a TIA normally does not result in permanent disability, it may be a warning sign of a future stroke and an indication of a partially blocked or narrowed artery or a clot source in the heart. Even if stroke symptoms begin to disappear quickly, call 911.
Additional Information About Stroke Symptoms:
Request an Appointment With a Stroke Specialist
Call (602) 406-7777