Stroke Signs and Symptoms

A stroke is when the blood’s flow to the brain is blocked, or a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. The majority of people that suffer a stroke are older than 60 years old, but no one is immune from having one.

A stroke can develop unexpectedly, so it is essential that you recognize the symptoms.

  • Weakness in your face, arm, or leg
  • A “pins and needles” feeling anywhere in your body or numbness
  • Confusion or difficulty understanding people
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Blurred vision or trouble with eyesight
  • Problems with walking – keeping your balance
  • Severe headache that comes on suddenly

You need to seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of stroke even if they disappear.  Think “FAST” and do the following:


F:         Face drooping. Ask the person to smile – is one side drooping?

A:         Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms – does one arm drift down?

S:         Speech difficulty. Is the person’s speech slurred – do they have trouble saying a sentence?

T:         Time to Call 911. If the person exhibits any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately



Unfortunately, there are some stroke factors you can’t change:

  • Age – the likelihood of having a stroke increases with age
  • Family History – if parent, grandparent, sister or brother had a stroke, especially before age 65 – you may be at a greater risk
  • Race – African-Americans have a higher risk than Caucasians
  • Gender – generally women tend to have a stroke more than men

But, there are some factors you can change:

  • Blood pressure – keep your numbers low
  • Smoking – STOP
  • Diabetes – control your blood sugar
  • Diet – lower your intake of saturated fats and sodium
  • Physical activity – move more – take your dog for a walk

If you have one or more of the above factors, take proactive steps and visit your primary care provider to discuss what you can do to lower your risk for stroke.

Having a Stroke – Signs and Symptoms
Nathan Murray, PA-C
Marlow Family Care

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