5 Symptoms of Stroke You Should Never Ignore
When you suspect that you or someone you love is having a stroke, it's important to act quickly. The sooner you can get treatment for this serious medical emergency, the greater the chance of making a full recovery. Here are some of the key signs of stroke to look out for.
1. Weakness or Numbness on One Side
Strokes can cause weakness or paralysis in the face, legs, or arms. This feeling is often stronger on one side of the body than the other. A simple test is to look at a mirror or another person and try to smile and raise your arms. If you can only raise one arm or one side of your mouth is drooping, you need to go to hospital right away.
2. Confusion or Speech Problems
Strokes can affect your ability to use or understand words. If you suddenly feel confused or can't understand what people are saying, you could be having a stroke. If you are worried about a loved one, try asking them to repeat a simple phrase. If they slur their words or appear not to understand you, they need medical attention.
3. Vision Problems
Strokes can affect vision. You may notice that your ability to see clearly suddenly disappears. It's quite common for only one eye to be affected, although some stroke patients lose vision in both eyes.
4. Dizziness and Lack of Balance
Feeling dizzy and finding it difficult to keep your balance? Although stroke isn't the only possible cause of dizziness, it is a possibility. Get your symptoms checked out right away, especially if you have other symptoms.
5. Severe Headache
Normal headaches often develop gradually. If you are having a stroke, you may find that you suddenly develop a severe pain in your head that has no obvious cause.
What to Do If You Suspect a Stroke
All the symptoms listed here need to be urgently checked out by a doctor. If you think you or your loved one is having a stroke, you need to get to hospital right away. At the hospital, a doctor can use a CT scan or MRI to look for clots or bleeding in the brain. Once a stroke has been diagnosed, doctors can take action to resolve the bleeding, which might involve giving medication to break up blood clots or inserting a catheter into the arteries to open up blocked blood vessels.