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Understanding and Recognizing Signs of Stroke

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A stroke is a medical emergency, so it requires treatment right away. However, treatment can be more effective if it is provided even before the stroke begins. Recognizing signs of stroke is crucial. Let’s clarify stroke and its symptoms.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain is blocked or reduced. This prevents brain tissues from getting the nutrients and oxygen they need, and as a result, brain cells begin to die.
Strokes are categorized into two types these are:

  • Ischemic Stroke
    Ischemic stroke is caused by the blockage of arteries carrying blood to the brain by blood clots.
    60-80% of most of the cases of stroke are caused by ischemic stroke.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke
    In hemorrhagic stroke, the blood vessels in the brain burst due to causes such as hypertension, and the bleeding caused by it leads to a stroke.

The causes of stroke can be caused by a chronic condition or even by some accidents; some of them include:

  • Fat deposition in the arteries can make it narrower, which mainly causes blood clots leading to a stroke.
  • Some chronic heart conditions like atrial fibrillation, which causes blood clots, may travel to the brain and can cause stroke.
  • In hypertension, the blood pressure stays high more frequently, which can sometimes lead to the bursting of arteries and, eventually, stroke.
  • Physical injuries in the head leading to bleeding can also result in a stroke.

Recognizing Signs of Stroke Symptoms

You can look for some symptoms to recognize signs of stroke. These are actually some physical and psychological changes in your body. These include:

  • Sudden Numbness or Weakness
    If you experience numbness or weakness that only affects one part of your body, like feet, arms, or legs, then this could be an alarming sign of a stroke. This sign can be prominent if you feel numbness in one of your hands or legs and have lost sensation in that area. You may also find it difficult to lift your leg or not be able to hold anything with the affected hand.
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  • Confusion or Trouble Speaking
    Another sign you can look for is trouble speaking, as stroke can impair your brain’s ability to process language. Because of this, you can observe difficulty understanding more straightforward sentences and conversing with others.
  • Vision Problems
    Vision problems are also common signs of stroke. These problems could include difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, blurred vision, and sometimes complete vision loss in one eye.
    Seeing double vision also comes under these vision problems.

Some More Recognizing Signs of Stroke

  • Difficulty Walking
    A stroke can affect balance and coordination, resulting in difficulty in walking. This could be due to sudden dizziness and the effect of a stroke on your ability to balance. Some other problems you can observe along with this are:
    • Trouble in walking straight may even lead to falling or stumbling.
    • Difficulty in doing everyday tasks in a standing position.
    • A feeling of being off-balance or dizziness.
  • Severe Headache
    A hemorrhagic stroke mainly causes a severe headache or a sudden headache. This headache can be very severe and may also come with some other symptoms, nausea or vomiting.
    What makes a headache caused by a stroke different from a regular headache is it can be like a sudden onset of pain with no known cause. And it is unbearable mainly to many people.

If you recognize any of the symptoms or more, you should quickly contact medical assistance and emergency services. The sooner you get treatment, the less likely your condition will become critical, and you will Be able to have a better recovery.

What is the FAST Recognizing Signs of Stroke?

FAST is a very simple and quick method for recognizing signs of a stroke. It allows you to be sure and then seek medical assistance immediately. In the FAST method,

  • F stands for face
  • A for arm
  • S for speech, and
  • T for time
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They help identify the key symptoms and signs of a stroke. This includes:

  • Face drooping
    Face drooping can simply mean that one side of your face has dropped or gone numb, a sign of a stroke. If a face is drooping, you can ask that person to smile. If you notice asymmetry or if they’re not able to smile evenly and their face is Drooping from one side, then it might be a sign of a stroke.
  • Arm weakness
    Arm weakness can include feeling numb or weak in one of your arms. To identify it, ask the person to raise both arms. If the person is not able to keep their arm raised and one of the arms falls involuntarily, then it can be a sign of a stroke.
  • Speech difficulties
    Speech difficulties can generally include slurred speech or difficulty speaking and pronunciation. To confirm these symptoms, you can ask the affected person to repeat a simple sentence twice or three times. If you notice trouble speaking, then you can take it as a sign of a stroke.

If you observe most of these signs or even one, then quickly reach out to emergency services.

What to Do if You Suspect a Stroke?

If someone around you is experiencing stroke symptoms, then you need to take immediate action. What you can do is:

  • Try to stay calm and to make decisions with a clear mind.
  • You can use a quick method like FAST to identify symptoms of a stroke.
  • Try to keep the affected person in a comfortable position and keep monitoring them.


With around 12.2 million incident cases of stroke annually, stroke is the second leading cause that led to death. However, recognizing signs of stroke earlier can make the treatment effective. One of the quick methods to identify these signs is FAST. After that, getting quick medical assistance is all you need to do.

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