Just like heart attacks, the fear that you or someone you know may experience a stroke at one point can be debilitating. Fortunately, we know the signs of a stroke and how to prevent one from happening, and what to do in case someone is having a stroke. This article will cover the signs of a stroke, and what to do if you or a loved one is having a stroke.
What is a Stroke?
Once again like a heart attack, a stroke occurs when blood flow in the body is blocked, although, during a stroke, blood flow to the brain is blocked instead. Since the brain is in control of all bodily functions, every second counts when someone has a stroke. Knowing the symptoms is key to getting proper treatment in time.
Signs of a Stroke
Signs someone is having a stroke don’t really differ between people born male and people born female, so it may be easier to determine if someone is having a stroke based on these main signs:
- Sudden severe headaches with no probable cause
- Numbness or weakness around the face, arms, legs, or other extremities. Typically, numbness occurs only on one side of the body.
- Difficulty speaking (think slurred speech) and understanding language
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both of your eyes
- Sudden difficulty walking and maintaining balance
To help determine if someone around you is having a stroke, the CDC recommends following these steps, shortened to an acronym they call F.A.S.T:
- Check their FACE: Ask the person to smile, and see if their face droops.
- Check their ARMS: Ask the person to raise their arms. Check to see if one arm droops.
- Check their SPEECH: Ask the person a question. Is their speech slurred?
- Check the TIME: As soon as you’ve finished these steps, call emergency services immediately.
What to do if You’re Having a Stroke
Aside from calling 911, there isn’t much you can do if you or a loved one is having a stroke. However, checking in with your doctor regularly can help prevent strokes in the future. If you’re worried about having a stroke, talk to someone. Knowing your risk level sooner than later can often be life-saving. When you see your doctor, you can also ask for tips to decrease your risk as well.
No matter what, if something feels wrong with your body, get help. You know yourself best!