An embolism, or stroke, is the interruption of blood flow to the brain. This can cause various symptoms such as headache, difficulty walking or paralysis, among many others. One way to determine a stroke early is by using the FAST test. This acronym refers to Face, Arms, Speech and Time. That means you should confirm that the person can smile, raise both arms and say a coherent phrase. If they do not respond successfully to any one of these requests, it is recommended to contact 911 immediately.
Numbness is a possible sign of a stroke
Another red flag is numbness, which occurs as a result of the brain’s inability to process sensory information. In some sufferers, recovery of sensation is immediate, while in others it is permanent. A person may report numbness in the face, which is sometimes evident in the appearance of the mouth or eyes. Usually the numbness resulting from a stroke will be felt on the left side of the body.
One of the major warning signs of a stroke is sudden general confusion. This can be garbled speech or an inability to understand simple instructions or recognize familiar surroundings. In milder cases of transient ischemic attacks (TIA), people will recover within several minutes or 24 hours. However, even if the symptoms are mild or temporary, it is important to see a doctor so that he can make a thorough evaluation and administer the correct treatment.
Although not all headaches are related to a stroke, the sudden onset of a severe headache could indicate that the person is having a stroke. If this pain is as severe as it is sudden, apply the FAST test and proceed to contact 911, especially if the headache is accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or loss of consciousness.
Loss of vision
Vision problems, accompanied by other symptoms such as a severe headache, dizziness, confusion, or slurred speech, are one of the main warning signs of a stroke. In some cases, the person may experience a total loss of vision in one or both eyes or things may just look blurry. This can be temporary or permanent and it is usually accompanied by dizziness, fainting or difficulties in moving or walking.