Stroke – Warning Signs and Symptoms

It is important to recognize the warning signs and symptoms of stroke to get immediate medical help and minimize the degree of post-stroke impairments. The stroke symptoms depend on how severely the brain is injured. The affected brain side and part of the brain also have certain implication on signs of stroke. Since different types of strokes (Ischemic Stroke, Hemorrhagic Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack) are results of different brain jury processes, they are observed with different warning signs and symptoms.

Common Symptoms

Stroke signs and symptoms often develop quickly. However, in certain cases, they can develop over hours or even days. The most common signs of stroke include:

Muscle weakness

The Stroke victim may experience stiff muscles or paralysis with weak muscles. Face and limb, both, may feel numbness or muscle weakness. Depending on severity level, weakness in one side of the body, problems with coordination, overactive reflexes, or paralysis in one side of the body can be observed. As a result, the victim’s body experience balance disorder and fatigue.

Speech Issues

While the body tries to fight through a dreadful blow to the central nervous system, it tends to have obvious symptoms like slurry or stuttered speech. This explains why a stroke victim may find it difficult to speak or might find it difficult to frame words. In the case of severe stroke, the victim may not be able to speak at all.


Most commonly, people having a stroke experiences a headache, however, a stroke can also be entirely painless, at times. A sudden and severe headache is an alarming sign, particularly when it doesn’t seem to be related to usual headache triggers.

Vision Issues

A stroke can severely affect the area of the brain that is responsible for accurate vision. This is why light-headedness or giddiness may be felt along with double vision, blurred vision, sudden visual loss or temporary loss of vision in one eye.

Other Warning Signs

Other commonly observed stroke symptoms include swallowing difficulty, inability to understand, limping and uncontrolled eye movement. The victim may feel reduced sensation of touch or a sensation of pins and needles in the body.

Women often experience unique or different symptoms of stroke. Some of the symptoms that can also happen abruptly, including sudden behavioral change, fainting, weakness, shortness of breath, confusion, irritation, hallucination, nausea and vomiting, pain, seizures, trouble in detecting hot or cold and hiccups.

Warning signs of Ischemic Stroke

Warning signs of Ischemic Stroke include numbness on one side of the body, confusion, dizziness, balance imbalance, trouble in talking or understanding, vision problems and severe headache. Other common symptoms include confusion, nausea, vision problems and sensitivity to light.  

Warning signs of Hemorrhagic Stroke

Hemorrhagic Stroke symptoms are severe, including an intense, head exploding headache. Other common symptoms include confusion or disorientation, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light, vision problems and dizziness or fainting.

Warning signs of Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs)

TIA symptoms, similar to an ischemic stroke, resolves within 24 hours. These warning signs include numbness on one side of the body, dizziness or balance imbalance, confusion, trouble in talking or understanding, vision problems and severe headache.