Signs and Symptoms of Stroke 

Quick recognition of symptoms and fast action is critical when dealing with a stroke. Acting quickly at the first signs of stroke can help minimize the effects and can mean the difference between life and death.

In most cases, a stroke provides little warning. Symptoms occur very suddenly and many people experience more than one.  These signs include[1]:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Don’t delay! If you or someone you are with has one or more of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Remember to make note of the time when the symptoms first appeared.  If given within three hours of the onset of symptoms, a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can reduce long-term disability associated with the most common type of stroke.


[1] American Stroke Association,