Sure Signs You’re Having a Stroke

The American Stroke Association reports that stroke is the sixth most common cause of death and a major contributor to disability in the US. The lack of blood supply to the brain is the result of two different types of strokes, according to Christine Perry, DO, an emergency department physician at McLaren Greater Lansing.

“The most frequent type of stroke mentioned is an ischemic stroke, which occurs when a brain vessel is blocked. Stroke symptoms can take many different forms.” The following list of five symptoms might indicate an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke (a rupture to the blood vessels in the brain).

Sure Signs You’re Having a Stroke

Numbness and Weakness

A stroke may manifest as generalized numbness and paralysis in the face, arm, or legs. According to Kelley A. Humbert, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology at Penn Medicine, “stroke symptoms come on quite rapidly.”

“People might be OK one second and then get symptoms like weakness, numbness, difficulty speaking, or visual loss all of a sudden. They could be curious about its origin.”

Slurred Speech and Difficulty Walking

Experts caution that difficulty speaking and moving might be an indication of a stroke. “Can the individual repeat a short phrase? Is the speech slurred, weird, or jumbled? Does the individual claim to have a thick tongue or to have trouble swallowing?”

says Maureen Stull, RN, Marin General Hospital’s coordinator for the stroke program. “Be alert for an unexpected loss of balance. Is the individual walking stumbling or leaning to one side?”

Vision Loss

Unexpected vision loss could be a sign that a stroke is likely to occur. According to Robert C. Sergott, MD, brief alterations in vision in one eye may be an indication of an impending stroke. “You may only have a few hours to obtain emergency care before a stroke develops if transient blurriness or impaired vision is caused by an impending stroke.”


The American Stroke Association recommends remembering these letters to identify a possible stroke:

F = Face Drooping

A = Arm Weakness

S = Speech Difficulty

T = Time to call 911

Never Ignore Stroke Symptoms

If you think you’re experiencing a stroke, get medical attention right away. According to Dr. Perry, one thing individuals frequently do is stay at home and think they’ve had a mini-stroke if their symptoms go away. “The best course of action if you suspect a stroke is to go right to the emergency room. It could enable you to live.”