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Stroke Health Center

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Understanding Stroke -- Symptoms

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What Are the Symptoms of a Stroke?

You should consider these symptoms warning signs and consult your health care provider:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body.
  • Abrupt loss of vision, strength, coordination, sensation, speech, or the ability to understand speech. These symptoms may become worse over time.
  • Sudden dimness of vision, especially in one eye.
  • Sudden loss of balance, possibly accompanied by vomiting, nausea, fever, hiccups, or trouble with swallowing.
  • Sudden and severe headache with no other cause followed rapidly by loss of consciousness -- indications of a stroke due to bleeding.
  • Brief loss of consciousness.
  • Unexplained dizziness or sudden falls.

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Call 911 If:

If you or someone with you exhibits any of the signs of stroke, do not delay because timely treatment is critical to survival and recovery.

Call for emergency services.

If the symptoms pass quickly, this may indicate a transient ischemic attack (TIA), a brief blockage of blood flow to the brain that is often a forerunner of stroke. Do not ignore this warning sign.

You must get to the hospital immediately. Some treatments must begin within the first few hours of symptoms; early treatment can often help prevent a fatal or disabling stroke from occurring.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on February 28, 2015
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