Signs & Symptoms of a Stroke

A stroke can occur suddenly, and it is important to act quickly if you or someone you know has experienced the sudden onset of the following symptoms:

  • Weakness or paralysis of an arm, leg, side of the face, or any part of the body
  • Numbness, tingling, decreased sensation
  • Vision changes
  • Slurred speech, inability to speak or understand speech, difficulty reading or writing
  • Swallowing difficulties or drooling
  • Vertigo (spinning sensation)
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Drowsiness, lethargy or loss of consciousness
  • Uncontrollable eye movements or eyelid drooping

If you experience these symptoms, or see someone with any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. If you are in Gainesville, Florida, ask the paramedics to take you to UF Health Shands Hospital.

The symptoms of stroke depend on what part of the brain is damaged. In some cases, a person may not even be aware that he or she has had a stroke.

The National Stroke Association recommends evaluating the possibility of a stroke using FAST.  FAST is an easy way to remember and identify the most common symptoms of a stroke. Recognition of stroke and calling 9-1-1 will determine how quickly someone will receive help and treatment. Getting to a hospital rapidly will more likely lead to a better recovery.

Use FAST To Remember The Warning Signs Of A Stroke

FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 imme