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Symptoms of a Stroke

During a stroke, blood stops flowing to part of the brain. This can damage areas in the brain that control the rest of the body. Get help right away if any of these symptoms come on suddenly, even if the symptoms don’t last.

Know the symptoms of a stroke
Man sitting next to lake with fishing rod, holding arm and looking distressed. Younger man sitting next to him, looking concerned.
A sudden feeling of weakness on one side of your body may be a sign that you are having a stroke.

  • Weakness. You may feel a sudden weakness, tingling, or a loss of feeling on 1 side of your face or body including your arm or leg. 

  • Vision problems. You may have sudden double vision or trouble seeing in 1 or both eyes.

  • Speech problems. You may have sudden trouble talking, slurred speech, or problems understanding others.

  • Headache. You may have a sudden, severe headache.

  • Movement problems. You may have sudden trouble walking, dizziness, a feeling of spinning, a loss of balance, a feeling of falling, or blackouts.

  • Seizure. You may also have a seizure with a large or hemorrhagic stroke. 

Remember: If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 and your doctor as soon as possible.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the signs of a stroke. When you see these signs, you will know that you need to call 911 fast. 

F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F is for face drooping - One side of the face is drooping or num. When the person smiles, the smile is uneven.

  • A is for arm weakness - One arm is weak or numb. When the person lifts both arms at the same time, one arm may drift downward.

  • S is for speech difficulty - You may notice slurred speech or difficulty speaking. The person can't repeat a simple sentence correctly when asked.

  • T is for time to dial 911 - If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if they go away, call 911 immediately. Make note of the time the symptoms first appeared.

Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Last Review Date: 8/26/2015
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