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The 5 Warning Signs of a Developing Stroke

The 5 Warning Signs of a Developing Stroke

When a person gets a stroke, it means the blood supply to his brain is affected and he/she needs the right treatment immediately or the situation will worsen. Time is of the essence here.


How can we identify the signs early? Learn the warning signs of a stroke and let your family and friends know, too so that they can pass the knowledge forward.


Signs and symptoms of stroke:

  • Difficulty in speaking and understanding
  • Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg
  • Sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg that often affects just one side of the body.
  • Problems seeing in one or both eyes - blurred or blackened vision
  • Headache
  • Losing Balance


Using the FAST test for early identification:

  • Face: Ask to smile and see if one side of the face is dropping down
  • Arms: Notice if one arm droops when both arms are asked to be raised
  • Speech: Check for speech fluency with a short phrase and observe any slurring
  • Time: If the answer to any of these is yes, call an emergency right away. Minutes matter in treating stroke.


  1. WALK
    1. Is the balance off?
    2. Are they slouching to one side while standing or trying to walk?
    3. Do they seem to be weaker on one side?
    4. Are they dragging the foot on one side?
    5. Are they able to tell you the side they are leaning towards?


  1. TALK
    1. Is their speech slurry or face droopy?
    2. Are they having trouble speaking?
    3. Does it sound like they are speaking with their mouths full?
    4. Do they make sense when they are speaking?
    5. Does one side of their mouth or face droop down?


  1. REACH
    1. Ask the person to raise both arms up. Notice if both hands are raised equally and whether one is starting to fall down?
    2. Ask the person to squeeze your fingers with each hand and see if one side is weaker
    3. Can they hold on to objects like a pen without difficulty?
    4. Can the person feel sensations when you try to touch their arms and they can not see it themselves?


  1. SEE
    1. Is the vision blurry or partly lost?
    2. Ask the person if their vision has changed.
    3. Ask the person if they can see everything in their field of vision.
    4. Ask the person whether they can see double


  1. FEEL
    1. Ask the person how they feel and ask them to tell you how much severe their headaches are, and if they exist.
    2. Does this headache hurt more than usual?



Conclusion/ Treatment Plan:


Knowing about and educating people around you about the warning signs of stroke help to detect the onset of stroke early, allows early interventions and helps reduce future disability. It is important to ensure that you do not drive yourself to the hospital if you notice any of these symptoms as this could prove dangerous to you and others.

Dr. Deepa N A
Meet The Doctor
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