Friday, February 20, 2015

5 Warning Signs Of A Stroke

Strokes are a very serious thing. I, unfortunately, have first hand experience with the effects of stroke as a family member of several people who've had them and as an individual who had a stroke.

Strokes are the 4th leading cause of death in the USA. About 800,000 people have a stroke each year. That's one person every 4 seconds! Also, more women have strokes than men. 60% of all strokes occur in women, so as a woman this is important information to have and share.

Strokes occur due to problems a person has with the blood supply to their brain. The blood supply to the brain is blocked or a blood vessel within the brain ruptures. A stroke is a medical emergency, and treatment must be sought as quickly as possible to prevent serious or fatal damage.  Most neurologists will tell you that if they can see a patient within 3 hours of a stroke, they can reverse the damage or prevent it from becoming debilitating. They are not limited to just the elderly! That is really important to know as many strokes in young people go untreated far too long.

There are three main kinds of stroke; ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also referred to as mini-strokes (this is the kind I had). You can learn more about each of these HERE!

So what are the 5 warning signs of a stroke?
1. Confusion, including trouble with speaking and understanding
2. Headache, possibly with altered consciousness or vomiting
3. Numbness of the face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body
4. Trouble with seeing, in one or both eyes ~ this includes double vision
5. Trouble with walking, including dizziness and lack of coordination.

Things you can do to evaluate if a person had a stroke are:
1. Ask them to speak. ~ If they have trouble speaking this is a very good sign they need to be seen immediately.
2. Ask them to raise both arms up ~ If a stroke has occurred, chances are they will only be able to raise on arm.
3. Ask the person to smile ~ You will notice immediately if there is numbness on one side of their face.
4. Ask them to stick out their tongue ~ With a stroke, their tongue will fall to one side or the other because of numbness.
5. Ask them if they are dizzy and having trouble seeing ~ lingering dizziness and double vision or sudden blurred vision is a good indication of stroke.

Stroke Warning Signs - Time lost is brain lost.

If any one of these signs are visible or the person is unconscious call for emergency help immediately. DO NOT WAIT and see if things change. Even a few extra minutes can make a BIG difference in the quality of life for that individual!

When I had my stroke I was not seen by a neurologist for several days since even my medical doctor did not think what I was experiencing was serious. A stroke can affect even just one small nerve and cause life-changing things. That's what happened to me. One tiny nerve to my left eye was damaged and caused the double vision. My eye has healed most of the way, but I still have 15-20% damage to it. If I had been seen right away, it would be significantly less if there at all!

Learn the warning signs. Print off the flyer above so you can keep it handy in your home. Become aware! You may just be able to save a life, even your own!


  1. This is such important information. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. This is fabulous information. We have a relative having mini-strokes. Great info to let me help if need be.

  3. Great info! I know it all to well sadly. I have two mini strokes thanks to the birth control pill.

  4. This is good to know. My mom in law suffered a un noticed stroke that led to dementia

  5. Great information - it can be so scary when you don't know what to look for!!

  6. I have a few friends that have suffered strokes this is useful informaion we all should know
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  7. This is the best information anyone can have. My husband has a migraine that mimicked a stroke. It was horrifying... thankfully, knowing all the signs led us to the right conclusion that he was OK. Yelling at his boss to check him... that's a different story!

  8. Thanks for the information. It is something we should all know even though hopefully we never have to go through it.

  9. This is such good information to know. You know when you're getting my age, in the 40s these things take on an all new interest level.

  10. Great info as everyone said. I have had two family members close to me that had strokes and neither was old when they occurred.

  11. Thanks for posting this. It's so important that people know what signs to check for a stroke.

  12. great information!!! we thought I was having a stroke once, luckily i was in the hospital at the time. catching it right away is so important.

  13. This is great info. I used to work in Cardiovascular and the signs are there, but many misunderstand them or ignore them until too late

  14. It is nice to know the symptoms in case my hubby or I start to feel any of them. Great Post!

  15. This is vital information for all of us to have handy. My mom had a massive stroke years ago and never fully recovered. It can happen to anyone anytime.