A stroke can happen to anyone, anytime.
In fact, strokes are the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States. Smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are often the culprits.
Strokes occur when the flow of blood to the brain stops. And when they occur, time is a big factor in how serious the damage will be.
If you can get a stroke victim to the hospital within an hour of the incident, it could prevent major long-term effects or even save their life. For this reason, knowing the warning signs of a stroke is vitally important. These signs can even present themselves weeks before the stroke happens.
Wondering what these signs are? You’re in the right place. Keep reading to hear all about the seven early stroke signs you need to know about.
Another one of the early stroke signs to look out for is confusion. This confusion can come on very suddenly and will seem out of the ordinary.
People affected by a stroke will often experience a quick onset of numbness or weakness in the body. This weakness will usually occur on one side only.
As a test, have the person lift their arms at the same time. If you can see that one arm is struggling or drooping, this is a definite warning sign.
3.) Issues with Vision
Impaired vision is another indication that someone may be suffering from a stroke. This could mean blindness or seeing double.
4.) Intense Headache
Because strokes are caused by a lack of blood in the brain due to something like a blood clot, extreme headaches can be a symptom.
Of course, on its own, a headache isn’t out of the ordinary, especially if the person in question suffers from migraines. But remember- better safe than sorry! If they have a headache paired with some other symptoms from this list, a trip to the hospital is in order.
5.) Issues with Balance
If someone suddenly experiences issues with coordination and keeping balanced, it may be one of the early stroke signs.
Ask them to bring their finger to their nose, or to walk a straight line. If they cannot, consider it a red flag.
6.) Difficulty with Speech
If someone around you is having difficulty speaking clearly, it could be a sign of a stroke. If you’re not sure whether someone is slurring their speech or not, try asking them to repeat what they said.
7.) A Lopsided Facial Appearance
Study the person’s face. Is one side drooping? This is one of the early stroke signs.
As a test for this one, all you need to do is ask the person to smile. Check out their mouth and see if one side is drooping or things look lopsided.
Don’t Ignore These Early Stroke Signs
If you notice any of these signs occurring in someone around you, act fast. Remember to remain calm, and that time is of the essence. The most effective way to prevent strokes and the damage they can cause is by recognizing these early signs.
The American Stroke Association says you can save a life by remembering the acronym: “F.A.S.T.”. It stands for Face drooping + Arm weakness + Speech difficulty = Time to call 911.
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