Not all of these warning signs occur in every stroke, but the most common symptoms before a stroke include:
- Sudden weakness or numbness 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 headaches with no known cause
Be mindful of a "mini-strokes"
A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short time. The symptoms are the same as those of a stroke, but usually last only a few minutes. About 15 percent of strokes are preceded by TIAs, so it's critical to seek medical help immediately when experiencing any of these symptoms.
Never ignore signs of stroke, even if they go away. Call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room immediately.
If you would like to measure and better your risk for stroke and your heart health, check out the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association's "My Heart, My Life" program, which details risk factors for heart problems and stroke. Discover more about OLOL's initiative and get information on our walking paths.
If you have a family history of stroke, it's important that you consult a doctor who specializes in heart care to determine your best plan of care for a healthy life. Find a neurologist today.