A stroke can be scary for everyone involved, but knowing the signs of a stroke can help you react quickly and get your loved ones the care they need as quickly as possible.
So first, let’s breakdown what a stroke is. A stroke happens when the blood supply to a person’s brain is cut off. The symptoms can be different depending on a few factors like, the region of the brain that is affected or how much brain tissue is deprived. A TIA, or transient ischemic attack, is what we call a “mini-stroke”. The TIA stroke symptoms will occur similarly to an actual stroke, but will go away on their own.
Acting quickly to the symptoms is crucial if you suspect that someone may be having a stroke. Quick treatment will minimize the long term effect and reduce the person’s risk of death. FAST is an acronym that helps family and neighbors quickly recognize the warning signs and get help quickly.
F – Face Drooping
Ask the person you’re with to smile and see if one side of their face is drooping. Strokes can cause one side of the face to be numb, so their smile might be uneven.
A – Arm Weakness
Tell the person to raise both arms in the air. Does one of the arms seem weaker than the other? One arm might drift downward while the other is maintaining it’s position.
S – Speech Difficulty
Slurred speech or troubled speaking is another sign that someone is in distress. Their speech might be incomprehensible. Ask them to repeat a simple sentence and listen for any sort of speech abnormailty.
T – Time to call 911
If a person is showing any of the symptoms above, even if they faded or went away completely, call 911 and get the person to the emergency room immediately.
Other Signs of a Stroke
The FAST symptoms are the hallmarks of a stroke, but stroke cause a disruption in any function of the nervous system. They typically occur on one side of the body and are quick. So, it’s important to get the person dealing the the FAST symptoms and the symptoms listed below quickly.
Other signs could be:
- Weakness or paralysis anywhere
- Numbness or a “pins and needles” sensation anywhere
- Trouble walking or loss of balance
- Vision changes, blurred vision, or trouble with eyesight
- Severe headache that usually is unlike headaches in the past
- Inability to speak, slurred speech, or inability to comprehend speech
- Loss of sensation i
- Memory loss
- Behavioral changes
- Muscle stiffness
- Difficulty swallowing
- Involuntary eye movements