Symptoms of stroke occur when blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted. They can occur suddenly and differ depending on the part of the brain that is affected. Multiple symptoms can happen together because the blocked or bleeding blood vessels may supply a large enough area of the brain that includes multiple functions. Anything your brain does may be affected.
If you experience any of the symptoms listed below in alone or together, call for emergency medical services right away.
The acronym F.A.S.T. may be the easiest way to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of a stroke. According to the American Stroke Association, F.A.S.T. means:
Other common symptoms that can occur along with symptoms above include:
Stroke can cause severe, permanent damage to the brain, or death. Quick medical treatment is important to increase the chance of survival and decrease the amount of damage. The sooner the blood flow is restored the better the outcomes tend to be. Ideally, treatment should be within the first brief hours after symptoms begin. Do not drive yourself or someone else to the hospital. Emergency medical service personnel can increase the chance of survival and decrease injury by giving treatments while on the way to the hospital.
Stroke (acute management). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T143427/Stroke-acute-management. Updated December 28, 2015. Accessed October 5, 2016.
Warning signs of stroke. National Stroke Association website. Available at: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/WarningSigns/Stroke-Warning-Signs-and-Symptoms_UCM_308528_SubHomePage.jsp. Accessed June 13, 2014.
What are the signs and symptoms of a stroke? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/stroke/signs. Updated March 26, 2014. Accessed June 13, 2014.
Last reviewed December 2015 by Rimas Lukas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.