Key Signs of Strokes
Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
A stroke is a type of cardiovascular disease that affects the arteries leading to the brain. When one of these arteries is blocked by a clot or hemorrhage, part of the brain can’t get the blood and oxygen it needs. Its cells start to die. This is called a stroke. If you have a stroke, it’s important to get treatment immediately. Otherwise, parts of your body will stop functioning normally as more of the brain is affected. If you don’t get treatment soon enough, a stroke can be fatal.
What are the signs of a stroke?
- Numbness or weakness on your face, arm, or leg. This will usually only be on one side of your body.
- Confusion, trouble speaking, or trouble understanding speech.
- Difficulty seeing in both eyes.
- Difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or loss of coordination.
- Severe headache with no known cause.
What should I do if I think I had a stroke?
It’s important to act right away if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke.
- Call 911 or Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Tell them you think you may be having a stroke.
- Record the time so you know when symptoms first appeared. This will help emergency services know how to treat you.
- An ambulance should be sent to your location.
- Severe headache with unknown cause.
For more information about strokes and how to prevent them, contact your health care provider or visit the American Heart Association’s Stroke website.