Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. They can also cause severe long-term problems. Learn 5 early signs of stroke to help prevent a stroke.

Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a cause of serious disability.

If you think you, or someone you love, maybe having a stroke, taking fast action is critical. The long-term effects of a stroke can be minimized if a patient is treated immediately. More importantly, fast treatment can reduce your risk of death from stroke.

Luckily, there are some early signs of stroke that can alert you to a possible onset of one. Read more to learn about F.A.S.T. symptoms and 5 additional signs of stroke you need to know.

Learn F.A.S.T. to Recognize Early Signs of Stroke

The National Stroke Association gives us the F.A.S.T. acronym to easily detect if you are having a stroke. Fast stands for:

  • F – Face: Does your face droop on one side when you smile? You may also experience numbness in your face.
  • A-Arms: When you raise your arms, does one or both of your arms start to fall down? Arm weakness is a common sign of a stroke.
  • S – Speech: If a person is slurring their speech, or having trouble speaking at all, it can be a sign of stroke. Try repeating the same sentence to see if there are any speech abnormalities
  • T – Time: If you or someone else has any of these systems, call 911 immediately. Even if the symptoms have ceased, get to the hospital as soon as possible.

Additional Warning Signs

Many people suffer from posterior circulations strokes. This is when the stroke takes place in the back section of the brain. This stroke is caused by a blood clot in the back of the brain which prevents blood vessel flow. The blockage results in an infraction, which is the death of brain cells.

Posterior circulations strokes also occur when a blood vessel ruptures in the back of the brain.

Prescription medication has helped many people to fight blood clots forming in their blood vessels, reducing the chances of stroke. Talk to your doctor for medication recommendations.

Posterior circulations strokes can have different warning signs than the stroke signs associated with anterior circulation strokes (strokes occurring in the front of the brain). Here are some additional warning signs of stroke to be aware of.


If a person experiences numbness anywhere in the body, it may be a sign of a stroke. Many stroke sufferers report feeling a “pins and needles” sensation in their body.


Generally speaking, serious weakness to any part of the body may be a strong signal of a stroke. It is also common to experience paralysis. Get to the hospital immediately if you experience impairment or loss of voluntary muscle control in any part of your body.

Double Vision or Blurred Vision

Difficulty seeing out of one or both eyes is a serious indicator of a stroke. Don’t wait it out to see if the vision improves. Fast reaction time is important to call 911 or have someone with you drive you to the hospital immediately.

Dizziness or Vertigo

Another symptom of a stroke is feeling dizziness or vertigo. With dizziness, you may feel very weak as if you may faint. Vertigo makes a person feel like they are spinning.

Headaches or Confusion

If you, or someone with you, experience an intense headache it may be s sign of stroke. Another stroke signal is when someone experiences confusion and is unable to think with their normal level of clarity.

Know the Early Signs of Stroke

When you notice these early signs of a stroke, time is of the essence. You must act F.A.S.T. and call 911 immediately. Don’t waste a minute. Your quick action may help save someone’s life or reduce the possibility of long-term disability.

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