How to Tell if Someone is Having a Stroke: 10 Signs & Symptoms

How to Tell if Someone is Having a Stroke: 10 Signs & Symptoms

If you suspect stroke, call 911 immediately

A sudden onset of the following may indicate stroke:

Stroke Awareness: 10 Signs & Symptoms of a Stroke



Unable to understand what is happening, can’t think clearly or feel thrown off A puzzled look, a hard time focusing, trouble making decisions

Difficulty Understanding

Unable to comprehend speech or language Raised or wrinkled eyebrows, shaking their head “no”, unsteady or woozy


Feeling faint, lightheaded, or like the room is spinning Unsteady movements (like they have motion sickness), like they are drunk (without having any alcohol)

Loss of Balance

Unstable with less coordination Wobbling around, grabbing onto a stationary object


A tingling feeling in the body (i.e. face, arm, or leg), like pins and needles Constant touching, massaging, or shaking of the numb areas

Severe Headache

Pain or discomfort in the head, scalp or neck with no known cause Touching their head, rubbing their temples, sensitivity to light

Trouble Speaking

Unable to speak or slurred speech Sentences that can’t be understood, difficulty having a conversation

Trouble Walking

Stumbling or unable to walk straight Tripping over nothing

Vision Changes

Blurred vision or trouble with eyesight in one or both eyes Squinting or rubbing their eyes, not able to read


Lack of strength in the face, arm, or leg–especially on one side of the body Wanting to sit or lay down, difficulty doing simple tasks

*Note that these symptoms or a combination of them are not unique to stroke, but if they are sudden and out of the ordinary, they may indicate a sign of stroke and require immediate attention.

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