Act Quickly: Signs of a Stroke and How to Recognize Them

May 6 • 2015

Did you know that strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States? Every year almost 795,000 people suffer from a stroke. Getting medical attention right away is crucial if you are having a stroke; immediate treatment can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and prevent death.

In honor of National Stroke Awareness Month, here are the warning signs of a stroke and how to recognize them.

Face Drooping
Is one side of the face drooping or numb? If the person tries to smile, is the smile uneven?

Arm Weakness
Is one arm weak or numb? Does one arm drift downward when you ask the person to lift it?

Difficulty Speaking
Is the speech slurred or difficult to understand? Is the person completely unable to speak? Ask him to repeat a simple sentence.

Sight Trouble
Does the person suddenly have trouble seeing in one or both eyes?

Loss of Balance
Do you notice he is experiencing a sudden difficulty with walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination?

Is he complaining about sudden, severe headache without a specific cause?

If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it is important to call 9-1-1 immediately. Be sure to note the time that the first symptom occurred as this can impact the treatment decisions a doctor will make.

You can learn more about how to spot stroke warning signs and symptoms, as well as additional information about how a stroke occurs, here.