Signs of Stroke

With stroke, time is critical. Quick action can improve chances of recovery.

If you or a loved one is having a stroke, time can mean the difference between life and death or long-term disability. There are distinct signs to be aware of if you think you or someone else is having a stroke. Becoming familiar with these signs and knowing what to do in the event of a stroke is crucial in the recovery process.

Spot a Stroke

Learn more from the American Stroke Association about using F.A.S.T. as an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke.

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How can you know if someone is having a stroke?

The National Stroke Association developed the acronym F.A.S.T. to remember the symptoms of stroke and ways to determine if someone is having a stroke.

If you believe someone might be having a stroke:

  • F= Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • A=Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S=Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
  • T=Time: If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 9-1-1. Studies show stroke patients who arrive at the hospital by ambulance receive quicker treatment than those who arrive on their own.

Other signs of a stroke include sudden confusion, sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Stroke diagnosis and treatment

Discover advanced stroke diagnosis and treatment