Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is disrupted stopped and the brain cells start dying. Stroke can happen to people of any age, but more than a third of those hospitalized are under 65 years old. High cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, as well as smoking are all the huge risk factors.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, point out that time is are extremely important when someone is having a stroke. Treatment within the hour can actually avoid long-term disability or even death.
Whether you believe it or not, there are warning signs for a stroke before it actually happens. Some of the signs can happen in hours, days, and sometimes weeks in advance.
Here are 7 early warning signs:
Face drooping: Does one side of the face look droopy or lopsided? It is recommended to ask the person to smile in order to see if their smile is lopsided or uneven.
Arm weakness: People who are suffering from a stroke can usually have unexpected weakness or numbness in their body, and it is commonly concentrated on just one side. Experts recommend asking the affected person to raise their arms above their head, can they do it? Is one arm significantly lower than the other?
Speech difficulty: Trouble in speaking clearly and tending to slur words are often signs of people affected by stroke. It is suggested to ask the person to repeat what they are saying in order to be sure if they are slurring.
A severe headache: A symptom of a stroke can be a severe and sudden headache, especially when paired with other symptoms. Most of these symptoms can occur in way of a migraine. So, it would be worth the try if you ask the person if a headache he/she experiencing is out of the ordinary for them. Always call for medical help if in doubt.
Change in vision: According to experts, unexpected double-vision or blindness in one eye can be a symptom of an approaching stroke.
Confusion: The Stroke Association has listed unexpected confusion as one of the symptoms of stroke. This can actually mean that an uncharacteristic inability to understand other people or even to articulate thoughts.
Balance issues: Someone who is suffering from stroke may experience unexpected problems with balance, as well as coordination. If you are not sure, you could ask them to touch their finger to their nose, or even walk in a straight line.
Time is extremely important when you or someone else has been showing the early symptoms of a stroke, and if you would not remember all of these signs then memorize this simple pneumonic from the American Stroke Association: F.A.S.T.
F: Face dropping
A: Arm weakness
S: Speech difficulty
T: Time to call 911