Useful Tips

How to recognize a stroke? Signs and Symptoms


Very often, people do not immediately realize that they have a stroke. So, they can fall without any reason, and then feel good, but after a while, if the doctor did not receive first aid, negative consequences may follow. That is why it is very important for everyone to know how to recognize a stroke. This will allow you to provide the necessary assistance in time and save your life.

Risk factors

The risk of this violation must be considered if there is even one of the following factors:

  • one of the relatives suffered from a heart attack, stroke, or microstroke,
  • pain periodically occurs in the heart, arrhythmia, pressure rises,
  • diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis,
  • there is obesity
  • there is a tendency to form blood clots,
  • in the presence of bad habits,
  • vegetovascular dystonia is noted, as well as ischemic attacks.

After the manifestation of a stroke, it is difficult to return to the previous active life. According to medical statistics, only about 30% of patients do this; another 30% of people die. The rest remain for many years with various disorders. Many cannot talk, move. Therefore, it is worth considering the treatment and normalization of pressure, if there are such violations.

First manifestations

First of all, you need to figure out how brain stroke differs from heart attack. These two conditions are characterized by similar symptoms. Doctors have a heart attack of the kidney, spinal cord, lungs and heart. A stroke is an acute circulatory disorder in the brain. This condition often causes a sharp narrowing of the vessels, which occurs after atherosclerosis. Often after a heart attack, a stroke can occur. This is due to the fact that with acute heart failure blood clots form, after a certain time they can block the cerebral vessels. How to determine a stroke, everyone should know, for this it is worth remembering four main signs:

  1. A person will not be able to fulfill a request to smile, because facial expressions are violated. His smile will be crooked, one side is down.
  2. People in this state have poor speech, it is slurred, blurry, it may even seem that you are drunk trying to talk to you.
  3. It will also be difficult to raise your hands one level. By which hand is lower, you can determine which side is affected.
  4. You can also determine the impaired condition by language, as a person with a stroke will not be able to stick it out. He will sink.

Eye signs

Thanks to the following symptoms, people will be able to learn how to determine a stroke in the eyes:

  • one pupil will be dilated,
  • eyeballs will move randomly
  • there is no reaction of the pupils to movement,
  • the patient will feel squeezing eyes, surrounding objects and people may seem bifurcated.

Harbingers of stroke

The ability to identify a stroke, recognize its symptoms and the first signs will help you navigate correctly in a situation when a person with an attack is nearby and call an ambulance in time. People at risk should be aware of the harbingers of stroke. In women, the signs of a stroke are slightly different, despite common features with men. Based on scientific studies, we can distinguish the symptoms observed before a stroke in women:

  • general weakness, which is accompanied by nausea,
  • suddenly there are pain in the face, arms, legs, chest,
  • difficulty breathing, as well as palpitations,
  • hiccups appear.

These signs of stroke in women are observed in 52% of cases. As for men, all of the above symptoms may be present in them, but only in 44% of cases. Most often, the condition will manifest itself traditionally:

  • severe pain in the head area,
  • impaired consciousness, coordination,
  • feeling of lethargy of the arms and legs, muscles on one side of the body,
  • darkening in the eyes
  • disturbed perception of the world.

Ischemic stroke

You should also know how ischemic stroke manifests itself. The main symptoms include:

  1. Headache, appears suddenly and is sharp. Some patients note that it seems to them that they felt a blow to the head with a strong object. A person is not able to raise his head and press it to his chest.
  2. Due to central nervous system damage, dizziness appears.
  3. Vision is impaired, which is manifested by blackout or bifurcation.
  4. Suspicion of a stroke causes numbness of the extremities on the one hand.
  5. Weakness appears in all muscles.
  6. There are violations of swallowing, speech. So, the patient begins to slur the words, stutter, and in some cases he can’t say anything at all.
  7. The gait changes and coordination is disturbed. In this state, it is difficult for the patient to even stand up on his own.
  8. The appearance of seizures, which can be during a loss of consciousness, scares others.

In severe cases, doctors note such signs of a stroke: short-term memory loss, coma.

Hemorrhagic stroke

This type of stroke is different from ischemic and has the following symptoms:

  1. Redness of the skin of the face, this is due to hemorrhage in the vessels, which in turn can appear due to increased blood pressure. Also, the patient can see everything around him in red.
  2. The breathing is noisy, the pulse also goes astray, it becomes slow, and the blood pressure is very high.
  3. Partially paralyzes the limbs.
  4. The foot turns out.
  5. Cheeks hanging down.


Very often in medicine, the prefix “mini” is used to characterize the condition of the patient with a micro stroke. By this concept is meant point damage or hemorrhage of the brain. Symptoms of a stroke can last from a few seconds to a day, the main ones include:

  • feeling of brokenness, muffling of surrounding sounds,
  • headaches,
  • weakness.

Spinal cord stroke

A condition in which the circulation of the back is disturbed is called a stroke of the spinal cord. This disease is rare, also has hemorrhagic and ischemic varieties. Harbingers of a stroke:

  • acute back pain, against which weakness of the extremities appears, their sensitivity is disturbed,
  • some internal organs cease to function naturally, most often manifested by a failure of defecation, urination,
  • paralysis of the arms and legs, as well as pain in them.

Important! Any signs of a stroke should cause others to call an ambulance, as untimely provision of medical care can be fatal.

Signs of coma and demise

In some cases, after a disease, a coma develops, its symptoms:

  • sudden loss of consciousness
  • the face turns purple
  • loud breathing, wheezing is heard,
  • strained pulse, increased pressure,
  • narrowing of the pupils and their sluggish reaction to the light,
  • decreased muscle tone
  • urinary incontinence.

A stroke can lead to irreparable consequences, which will be evidenced by:

  • the complete absence of any reaction when trying to bring a person to feelings,
  • body temperature decreases
  • no pulse, no breathing,
  • there is no reaction of the pupils.

First aid

If all the signs indicate a stroke in the brain or another type of this disorder, you must make every effort to provide first aid to the patient. To do this, remember what is necessary from others in this case:

  1. First of all, you need to call an ambulance. It is believed that 1.5 hours from the onset of pain is enough to restore blood flow.
  2. While the doctors are on the road, the victim should be laid in such a way that his head is raised, to ensure the flow of fresh air. To do this, you need to unbutton your clothes, and when you are indoors, also open the window.
  3. Next, we measure the pressure, with its increase we give the usual medications for this person. If there are no such medicines, you need to provide him with one Aspirin tablet (500 mg.), In the presence of a low-dose drug (75 mg. Or 100 mg.), Give four tablets at once. Help medication is an attempt to "push" the platelets rushed to thrombosis. "Aspirin" has the property of blocking platelet adhesion.

It is very important that the patient falls into the hands of doctors faster, since the forecast for the future depends on this. Cases of heart attacks have become more frequent, so everyone should think about their health, as well as be sure to remember the symptoms and important rules when providing first aid to the victim. A stroke is not a sentence, but it makes you think about caring for yourself.

How to recognize a stroke?

The following is a list of traditional signs of a stroke. Quite often, people can observe only some of these symptoms.

For example, a person may experience numbness and loss of balance due to a stroke, but without cognitive problems. In such situations, people must be urgently sent to the hospital.

As soon as possible, medical care should be sought for those people who observe the following symptoms:

  • problems with speech or understanding of others
  • numbness or lethargy on one side of the face,
  • numbness or weakness on one side of the body,
  • problems with walking and balance,
  • visual disturbances
  • sharp or severe headaches
  • dizziness
  • trouble swallowing.

As you can see from the list of symptoms, stroke pain occurs only in the head. In fact, many people who experience a stroke do not feel any pain.

If a person is not sure about the origin of his symptoms, but understands that he has problems, he should not ignore them. With a stroke, quick action is vital. Remember the symptoms of a stroke and be prepared to call for emergency medical care if you observe them with yourself or your loved ones, friends, colleagues.

Anyone who has a stroke while driving should stop the car, as the symptoms can quickly worsen and cause an accident in which both a driver who is suffering from a stroke and those around him can suffer.

What should be done with a stroke?

One of the main tasks in a stroke is to recognize it as soon as possible, because the longer this condition remains without treatment, the more damage it can cause to the body.

If there are signs of numbness or lethargy on the face, weakness of the hands and difficulty in pronouncing words, emergency medical care must be called as soon as possible.

If a person cannot raise both hands, smile with both corners of his lips or make a coherent sentence, he urgently needs to get the attention of doctors. Each of these symptoms may indicate a stroke.

What are the consequences of a stroke?

In various cases, stroke has a different effect on the body, the nature of which depends on the damaged areas of the brain.

Another important point is how quickly the victim received medical attention. The longer a person spends without treatment, the greater the number of brain cells will be damaged or die.

Some people experience minor effects of a stroke, such as fatigue or difficulty coordinating. Others may need to relearn basic functions such as walking or swallowing. Such people need special support from loved ones.

A stroke often leads to death. According to American researchers, this condition is responsible for every twentieth death. In the Russian Federation, doctors annually record about 400 thousand strokes. 35% of them result in death.

A stroke may affect the following functions.

About a third of stroke survivors have vision problems. Symptoms can range from minor visual disturbances in one of the eyes to a complete loss of the ability to see.

Visual function may improve slightly after a stroke, but complete recovery is rare.

The following vision problems can also be caused by a stroke:

  • decreased eye mobility,
  • partial loss of vision
  • dry eyes
  • unstable, nervous eye movement.

Less common visual disturbances of stroke include the following:

  • agnosia, that is, the difficulty of recognizing familiar faces and objects,
  • visual disregardin which a person does not pay attention to objects located on the side of the body that is affected by a stroke.

The physical effects of a stroke

After a stroke, people may observe the following:

  • difficulty swallowing or dysphagia,
  • inability to raise the forefoot, i.e. paresis of the foot or drooping,
  • urinary incontinence,
  • pain,
  • fatigue
  • paralysis,
  • muscle cramps
  • sleep disorders
  • poor muscle control
  • muscle spasms.

A person can observe several of these symptoms or only one. In addition, symptoms may vary in degree of manifestation, and in some cases, they subside over time.

The mental effects of a stroke

A stroke can lead a person to a state of severe shock, confusion and anxiety. A stroke is a medical phenomenon that can radically change a person’s life and force him to study the basic functions of his body and the techniques for the implementation of certain types of activity.

Each person experiences a stroke in their own way, but usually after such an event, conversations about the stroke and its effect on the psyche with friends, family members or a psychotherapist can benefit.

If a person has suffered a stroke, he may be faced with the following:

  • depression
  • feeling of vulnerability
  • depersonalization
  • irritability
  • disappointment.

In addition, a person may feel that he is burdening his relatives with his condition and causing them significant inconvenience.

It is important to consult with a specialist if the victim begins to overcome the listed feelings. A qualified therapist can help a person deal with the emotional effects of a stroke and reduce stress.

Types of stroke

There are several types of stroke:

  • ischemic stroke caused by blood clots that block blood circulation,
  • hemorrhagic stroke - a consequence of rupture of blood vessels,
  • microstrokes or transient ischemic attacks caused by temporary blood clots.

How to recognize a microstroke?

With micro strokes, the same signs and symptoms are observed as with other strokes, but they can pass faster.

A microstroke usually lasts from a few minutes to several hours. Symptoms can pass so quickly that a person almost does not notice them. For example, speech or movement disturbances may occur within a few minutes, after which these functions are restored.

Anyone who suspects a microstroke should receive immediate medical attention. It is important to remember that microstrokes can be harbingers of a full stroke.

What causes strokes?

Ischemic strokes result from the formation of blood clots in blood vessels. These blood clots block the flow of blood to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are observed when the weakened vessels of the brain rupture.

A stroke cannot be foreseen, but some factors increase the risk. Among these factors are the following.

  • Age. As the arteries age, they become narrower and harder, which increases the risk of vascular blockage.
  • Floor. Young men have a higher risk of developing strokes compared to young women. However, after menopause, women are at greater risk.
  • Family story. A person is more likely to experience a stroke if this medical condition has occurred in the life of his close relatives.
  • Personal story. After the first stroke, the likelihood of a repeated stroke increases.

To reduce the risk of stroke, you must avoid the following:

  • smoking
  • obesity
  • alcohol abuse
  • low level of physical activity,
  • stress
  • taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen and naproxen,
  • taking birth control pills.

A person may have an increased tendency to stroke if he suffers from one of the following conditions:

  • depression
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • sickle cell anemia,
  • vasculitis
  • diabetes.

Stroke Recovery

Each stroke has its consequences, in addition, the degree of damage to the body varies in different people. Medical staff will evaluate the impact of a stroke and monitor the person’s recovery in the hospital or at home.

Rehabilitation after a stroke can last more than one month or a year. Occupational therapy or other forms of support can bring benefits, which will allow a person to partially or fully restore the functions of the body.


The first stroke increases the likelihood of developing a second. However, a team of doctors is able to give the affected person the necessary recommendations to reduce risk.

Talking about the effects of a stroke helps overcome feelings of vulnerability and isolation.

The methods for treating stroke are gradually improving. It is also important that over time, public awareness of this medical phenomenon improves.

Emergency treatment can minimize damage, reduce the likelihood of numerous complications and accelerate the recovery process.