A stroke can be sudden and unexpected, but there are some warning signs that indicate an increased risk of stroke. Recognizing these symptoms and taking appropriate action can help prevent or reduce the consequences of a stroke. However, it is important to note that these warning signs are not reliable indicators and other medical conditions can cause similar symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is very important to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance. Here are some warning signs that may increase your risk of stroke.
Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or “mini-strokes”: TIAs are transient episodes that mimic the symptoms of a stroke, but usually last only a few minutes. They warn that a complete stroke may occur in the near future.
Sudden and severe headache: A sudden, severe headache, often referred to as the worst headache of your life, can be a sign of a hemorrhagic stroke (caused by bleeding in the brain).
Weakness and numbness: Sudden weakness, especially on one side of the body, can be the first symptom of a stroke. It can affect the face, hands and feet.
Confusion or difficulty speaking: Slurred speech, slurred speech, or slurred speech can indicate problems with blood flow to the brain.
Vision changes: Sudden vision loss, such as blurring or double vision in one or both eyes, can be a warning sign.
Dizziness and loss of balance: Sudden dizziness, loss of balance, and difficulty walking can indicate a stroke.
Drooping face: Sudden drooping of one side of the face, usually felt when laughing, and numbness can be a symptom of a stroke.
Difficulty swallowing: Difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, can be a symptom of a stroke, especially when it’s sudden.
Severe fatigue: Before a stroke, you may experience extreme, unexplained tiredness or fatigue.
Changes in mental status: Sudden changes in mental clarity, confusion, or perception may indicate a problem with blood flow to the brain.
Cognitive changes: Sudden changes in cognitive function, memory, or awareness can be symptoms of a stroke.
Severe chest pain: In some cases, a stroke can be associated with chest pain and discomfort.
It is important to remember that these symptoms can be caused by other diseases, and the presence of one or more of these symptoms does not mean that you have a stroke. However, if you or someone else experiences any of these symptoms suddenly and without explanation, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. Early recognition and response to stroke symptoms can make a big difference in outcomes and recovery. If you are concerned about your risk of stroke, we recommend that you discuss your health with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance and recommendations.