Stroke Symptoms/Warning Signs

Can you spot a stroke? Think ‘BE FAST.’

Stroke is a medical emergency. Treatment is available, but only if a stroke is recognized in time.

Stroke symptoms

Other Stroke Symptoms

Though BE FAST can help you identify the main symptoms of stroke, they aren’t the only signs.

Signs of a stroke depend on the side of the brain that’s affected, the part of the brain affected, and how severely the brain is injured. A stroke may be completely painless.

Other stroke symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the leg
  • Sudden confusion or trouble 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

Respond Quickly

Because stroke doesn’t typically hurt, many people delay seeking treatment. The most important thing to remember is “time is brain.”

Most strokes are caused by blood clots. Physicians have only a limited time – three to four and a half hours – to safely give clot-busting drugs. Treatments to extract clots can be performed up to six to eight hours after symptoms appear.

Preventing Strokes

Many strokes can be prevented by being proactive with your primary preventive care. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the single greatest modifiable risk factor. Check your blood pressure regularly.

A doctor should follow any blood pressure readings consistently more than 140/90.

Other conditions associated with increased risk of stroke include:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Abnormal heart rhythm