While Stroke Awareness Month is an annual event sponsored every May by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, knowing how to identify stroke and when to get help is an essential every day skill.
Stroke symptoms happen suddenly and while symptoms may vary, they generally include:
- Weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, usually on one side of the body
- Having trouble speaking or understanding
- Problems with vision, such as dimness or loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Dizziness or problems with balance or coordination
- Problems with movement or walking
- Fainting (loss of consciousness) or seizure
- Severe headaches with no known cause, especially if they happen suddenly
Other less common symptoms of stroke may include:
- Sudden nausea or vomiting not caused by a viral illness
- Brief loss or change of consciousness, such as fainting, confusion, seizures, or coma
- TIA, called a mini-stroke
A TIA can cause many of the same symptoms as a stroke. But TIA symptoms are passing. They can last for a few minutes or up to 24 hours, and may be a warning sign that a stroke is about to occur. Call for medical help right away if you think someone is having a TIA.