Stroke Symptoms

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Doctor's View on Stroke Symptoms

Comment by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Typical stroke symptoms and signs

Stroke symptoms usually come on suddenly. Signs and symptoms of a stroke include tingling, numbness, weakness, or paralysis, usually on one side of the body. Problems with speaking or understanding speech, swallowing, or problems with vision can also be signs of a stroke. Other symptoms can include trouble with balance, gait disturbances, confusion, dizziness, and severe headache.

Early stroke recognition saves lives

Recognizing the symptoms of stroke can be lifesaving. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, leading to the death of brain cells. Symptoms depend upon the exact location of the brain that is involved. There are certain drugs that can reverse the effects of stroke, but they need to be administered within a short time frame of the appearance of symptoms, so prompt recognition is essential. Strokes occur in both men and women and are most common in older people, but younger people can experience strokes in association with certain medical conditions.


The National Stroke Association recommends that people use the acronym FAST to remember the signs of a stroke:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile and see if one side of the face droops.
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise their arms and note if one drifts downward.
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a phrase and look for slurred or strange speech.
  • Time: Act immediately and call 911 if these signs are present.

Read what patients are saying about stroke symptoms!

Stroke Symptoms - Typical Resources

Doctor written main article on Stroke


"Warning Signs of Stroke." National Stroke Association.

Last Editorial Review: 7/12/2013 2:19:55 PM