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10 Signs of Stroke That You Need to Know

10 Signs of Stroke That You Need to Know

A stroke is a life-threatening condition that demands immediate medical attention. There is a type of stroke that has subtler presentation and merits increased vigilance, known as silent strokes. Knowing the signs are important since silent stroke symptoms can be difficult to notice if you do not know what signs to look for.

Knowing stroke and silent stroke symptoms is crucial, since the sooner treatment can be provided, the better the chances are of survival and recovery.

Here is what you need to know about stroke and silent stroke symptoms.

Stroke and Silent Stroke Symptoms That You Need to Know

1. Dizziness, difficulty walking, and loss of coordination

One of the possible silent stroke symptoms, especially one that occurs in the brain stem, is dizziness, difficulty walking, and loss of coordination.

The brainstem is responsible for control for the entire body. This means that if it suffers any damage, such as what happens during a stroke, it will affect a person’s motor functions.

However, dizziness can also be a sign of a stroke in another part of the brain, and not just the brain stem.

2. Confusion and difficulty speaking

Depending on which part of the brain the stroke is affecting, a person could experience confusion and difficulty speaking.

In particular, difficulty speaking means that the left part of the brain is affected, specifically the part that is responsible for speech and language.

Patients can experience what’s known as aphasia, or an impairment in the ability to speak, read, or write.

3. Blurred vision or loss of vision

Having a stroke can also affect the nerves that send information from the eyes to the brain. This means that a stroke could cause a sudden onset of blurred vision, or even complete loss of vision depending on how severe the stroke could be.

Blurred vision or loss of vision is never normal, and it would be best to go to the doctor immediately if this happens to you.

4. Severe headache with no known cause

One stroke and silent stroke symptom that is more common is experiencing a severe headache with no known cause.

In particular, if a stroke affects the vertebral and basilar arteries, or arteries supplying blood to the back of the brain, a person experiencing a stroke could have a sudden and severe headache.

This is also known as a “thunderclap headache,” and is usually described as having the worst headache of your life.

5. Numbness in the face, or one side of the body

Numbness is another possible sign that a person might be having a stroke. A feeling of numbness, especially in one side of the body, happens when the part of the brain gets damaged.

What numbness in the left side could mean that the right side of the brain has been affected, and numbness in the right side could mean that the left side of the brain has been affected.

6. Difficulty swallowing

Another symptom of a stroke is difficulty swallowing or dysphagia. Dysphagia occurs if a stroke affects the part of the brain responsible for swallowing.

In some cases, it could also mean that the brain stem has been damaged. Dysphagia is also a common problem that occurs in people who survived a stroke.

7. Loss of consciousness

Loss of consciousness is a particularly severe symptom of a stroke. This symptom is relatively rare, occuring in about 8.4% of ischemic strokes, or when an artery going to the brain gets blocked.

This can be very dangerous, since the person having a stroke would not be able to seek any help or medical assistance.

8. Difficulty understanding

It is also possible for someone having a stroke to have difficulty understanding and communicating with other people. What this means is that they might be able to hear someone talking to them, but not necessarily understand what they are saying.

This could possibly mean that a stroke is affecting the part of the brain that has to do with speech comprehension and language processing.

9. Sudden fatigue

Sudden fatigue is one of the possible silent stroke symptoms. This is because someone experiencing this symptom might not even be aware that they are already having a stroke.

They might just chalk it up to being tired, or overworked, and fail to ignore other silent stroke symptoms.

This is why it is important to listen to your body and take note if you feel any sudden unexplained changes in your body.

10. Tremors or shaking

Lastly, tremors or an uncontrollable shaking of one part of the body could be the sign of a stroke.

What should you do if someone is having a stroke?

When it comes to stroke, time is of the essence. The sooner the patient can get treatment, the better the outcome would be.

One good thing to remember is the acronym F.A.ST. Here is what it means:

F—Face: If one side of a person’s face droops when they smile, then it could be a possible sign that they might be having a stroke.

A—Arms: Another way to test would be to ask the person to raise both of their arms. If one arm tends to drift downward, then it is another sign that they are having a stroke.

S—Speech: The third thing to do would be to try and ask the person to say a word or a phrase. If they have difficulty repeating it, or if it comes out slurred or unintelligible, then that is another sign that they are having a stroke.

T—Time: Lastly, and most importantly, is time. If you think a person is having a stroke, do not hesitate to immediately call emergency medical services or take the person to the emergency room. The sooner they can be treated, the better.

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara on Jun 16, 2020
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