Here’s How to Spot the Warning Signs of a Stroke

You might think of a stroke as a condition associated with older age, considering people aged 55 and older hold a higher risk of having one than do younger folks. But the tragic death of Luke Perry, who passed away after a massive stroke at age 52, has propelled many people to consider whether or not they’d recognize the symptoms of a stroke before it was too late.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a particular part of the brain is severed. The interruption of blood flow can then cause brain cells to die, which can result in loss of memory and muscle control and ultimately lead to death.

The Signs of a Stroke graphic

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

Luckily, when it comes to identifying a possible stroke, there’s a handy acronym to have on mind: BE FAST. If you notice any of the following symptoms happening in yourself or in someone else, it’s important to remember that a stroke is a medical emergency and call 911 immediately. Try your best to note what time the symptoms began, because timeframe will become important in treatment options.

Here’s how to identify the warning signs of a stroke with  BE FAST:

Balance

Are you experiencing sudden dizziness, having trouble balancing or experiencing a loss of coordination?

Eyes

Are you suddenly having trouble seeing out of either one or both of your eyes?

Face

When you smile, does one side of your face droop?

Arms

Try to raise both arms. Does one of your arms drop down?

Speech

Try to say a short phrase out loud. Does your speech sound slurred or otherwise unusual or strange?

Time

If you answered yes to any of the questions above—or even if you just didn’t answer with a resounding “no”—then call 911 or seek help immediately. Make sure to take note of the time you noticed the symptoms beginning.

Other warning signs of a stroke to keep in mind include:

  • A sudden feeling of weakness and/or numbness in your face, arm or leg, especially on only one side.
  • Sudden trouble understanding what’s going on or sudden confusion.
  • Sudden, piercing headache without any identifiable or likely cause.

Preventative Measures

The National Stroke Association has an interactive risk factor tool that’s designed to help you understand what the risk factors of strokes are—such as smoking, high blood pressure, and drinking—and how to then effectively reduce your risk of ever having one. Check it out here.

Related at Care2:

Images via Getty

65 comments

Kerrie G
Kerrie G9 days ago

Shared, thanks.

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Janis K
Janis K10 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Toni W
Toni W10 days ago

TYFS

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Toni W
Toni W10 days ago

TYFS

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beba h
beba h10 days ago

Good to know. Thanks

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Marija M
Marija M11 days ago

Tks for sharing.

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Renata Kovacs
Renata Kovacs11 days ago

Thoughtful and helpful posting Thank you for sharing,

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Ruth S
Ruth S11 days ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S11 days ago

Thanks.

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Danuta W
Danuta W11 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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