What Are the 5 Warning Signs of a Stroke?
The symptoms of a stroke do not develop over time. The patient will rapidly experience significant changes as the brain tissue dies. The five warning signs of a stroke are:
- Difficulty with vision
- Trouble speaking or trouble understanding what someone is saying
- Issues walking or maintaining balance
- Numbness or paralysis
- Severe, sudden headache
Difficulty with Vision
If the damage to the brain is in an area that controls vision or interprets visual data, the patient might suddenly lose sight in one or both eyes. In the alternative, he might have double-vision, or things could look blurry.
Trouble Speaking or Understanding What Others Are Saying
The person might be unable to pronounce words clearly. His speech might sound slurred, similar to a person impaired by alcohol. He might be confused by his surroundings. Also, he might be unable to process and understand what other people say to him.
Having a Hard Time Walking or Maintaining Balance
Depending on the region or regions of the brain the stroke impacts, the person might feel dizzy without warning. He might fall over because he cannot maintain his balance. He could stumble or appear unable to “pick up his feet” when he tries to walk.
He might experience a loss of coordination of his legs or his arms. If the damage affects an area of the brain that controls the arms, the patient might drop what he is holding or be unable to grasp items, write, or otherwise use his arms or hands correctly.
Paralysis or Numbness
A stroke can paralyze various areas of the person or make them feel numb. If a person feels weakness, paralysis, or numbness all of a sudden in his face, arms, or legs, he might be having a stroke. The symptoms are typically on one side of the body, as in your left arm and left leg.
Mayo Clinic suggests that the person try to raise both arms together toward the ceiling. If he cannot raise one of them over his head, he might be experiencing a stroke. Ask him to smile. If one side of his mouth droops, that can be a sign of a stroke.
Severe, Sudden Headache
Because a stroke is the result of damage to the brain, it is not surprising that a person can feel pain in the head when this happens. The headache will come on rapidly. The pain is often much more intense than an ordinary headache. The patients might experience related symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or a loss of consciousness.
Think “FAST” for Possible Strokes
If you think that you or someone near you might be having a stroke, do not hesitate. Seconds count. Immediate medical attention can mean the difference between life and death or between permanent paralysis and substantial recovery of function.
Mayo Clinic urges people to get medical attention immediately if someone has any of the five warning signs of a stroke, even if the symptoms go away. In these situations, you need to think “FAST” to know what to do:
- F is for Face. Look for one side of the face drooping, particularly when the person tries to smile.
- A is for Arms. When you ask him to raise both arms over his head, observe whether he can do so, or if one arm falls downward or cannot rise.
- S is for Speech. Say a simple phrase (not a tongue-twister) and ask him to say it after you. Listen carefully to whether his speech is slurred or in any way out of the ordinary.
- T is for Time. Time is the enemy for a stroke patient. If you see any of the signs of stroke, call 911 without a moment’s delay.
A stroke happens when a blood clot or other debris blocks or reduces the flow of blood to an area of the brain. Also, a ruptured or leaking blood vessel in the brain can cause a stroke. Regardless of the type of stroke, every minute without professional medical attention puts the patient at risk of irreversible brain damage and disability.
Newsome Melton Wants to Help With Your Case
At Newsome Melton, we help people who suffer an injury due to the mistakes or carelessness of others. If you think that you or a loved one did not receive a prompt diagnosis or adequate medical treatment for a stroke, you might be able to pursue a claim for money damages.
Call us today at (855) 633-2757 for a free consultation. There is no obligation.
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