Signs of a Stroke

How to Recognize a Stroke in Progress

Seek help immediately if you or a loved one experience the signs or symptoms of a stroke.
Seek help immediately if you or a loved one experience the signs or symptoms of a stroke.

If you notice one or more of these signs, don't wait. Stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 or your emergency medical services. Get to a hospital right away!

Stroke symptoms happen suddenly, but can occur over several hours, with symptoms worsening over time. They include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or 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

Different types and severities of stroke can have different symptoms. The effects of multiple small strokes happening over time can be gradual and are often mistaken for signs of aging.

 

More information on this topic is available through our online health encyclopedia.