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Stroke Warning Sign?  Learn Them All

Can you recognize a stroke warning sign?

Studies have found up to 97% of Americans don't know the symptoms of a stroke.

Here are seven examples of warning signs of a stroke:

Example A: Dorothy was 65 years old when she had a stroke.

She had been having little episodes of dizziness and was now having trouble remembering where she put things. Just old age creeping up on her, she thought. Nothing as serious as Alzheimers.

But when she just fell down in the middle of the room, she knew she had run out of excuses. She checked with the retirement home nurse who sent her to the hospital.

She'd had a few small strokes and now had to deal with a large stroke.

Dorothy had two stroke symptoms:

  • Stroke warning sign #1: Dizziness and unexplained falls.

  • Stroke warning sign #2: Memory loss and confusion.

Example B: Earl was 35 when he had a stroke.

He knew he smoked too much and probably should cut back on the bourbon-beer chasers. But he was sure he was no alcoholic and he didn't smoke much more than 2 packs a day, just like all his friends.

So when he felt a massive headache, like a hammer hitting him smack between the eyes, and he started vomiting, he thought it was a bad case of the flu.

He went to the emergency room and the doctors told him he had a stroke.

Earl had one stroke symptom:

  • Stroke warning sign #3: Severe sudden headaches which may include pain between the eyes and vomiting.

Example C: Ben was 50 when he had a stroke.

An African-American, he'd tried to take good care of himself. He'd been athletic when he was younger, but now he just couldn't find time for daily exercise. His blood pressure stayed high, even with medication.

It's only stress, he thought. I'll take a vacation next year.

Ben was working on the computer when all of a sudden, he couldn't see out of his left eye or type with his left hand. His wife took him to the emergency room and the doctors told him he had a stroke.

Ben had two stroke symptoms:

  • Stroke warning sign #4: Sudden loss of vision, particularly in one eye, sudden blurred vision.
  • Stroke warning sign #5: Sudden paralysis in the arms, hands, legs, or feet, especially on one side of the body.

Example D: Judy was 42 when she had a stroke.

She thought of herself as a typical soccer mom with two great kids in high school. She wasn't taking medication except for her old oral contraceptives that she'd used more than 20 years except for the two pregnancies.

She knew she weighed too much, but her husband said he liked her love handles. The only problems in her life were that she still had migraines that no medication had helped, and her family had voted to make her smoke her cigarettes outside recently.

She was out smoking in the backyard when she felt funny. She tried to call someone but couldn't make the words come out right.

Her family found her unconscious and called an ambulance. By the time she arrived at the hospital, she was dead.

Judy had two stroke symptoms:

  • Stroke warning sign #6: Difficulty speaking, slurred speech, facial paralysis, especially on one side.

  • Stroke warning sign #7: Unconsciousness.

If you or someone near you, have any of these warning signs for a stroke, call your emergency health provider immediately.

And remember--prevention is the best way to fight strokes.

Are you having a mini-stroke? Learn about mini-strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIA's) here:

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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.

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