How Do You Know If You Are Having a Stroke?

Signs and symptoms of an impending stroke include drooping or numbness on one side of the face, weakness or numbness in one arm, and trouble speaking, states the American Heart Association. A person who is about to experience a stroke tends to show an uneven smile or have one arm drifting downward when raising both arms. Emergency medical care is essential to prevent severe complications.

People typically experience one or multiple sudden warning symptoms, such as vision problems; balance or coordination difficulty; dizziness; or intense, unexplained headache. Those who experience these symptoms should get immediate help, avoid driving to the hospital on their own, and remember the time when the symptoms began, according to WebMD.

When a stroke occurs, the brain receives inadequate blood supply, which means the risk of developing severe, long-term problems is lower the faster a person gets medical treatment, explains WebMD. Prompt treatment also increases a stroke sufferer's chance of recovery.

To prepare for a stroke, it helps to plan in advance and ask a health care professional or research online about local hospitals that serve as primary stroke centers and offer 24-hour emergency care, suggests WebMD. Doctors advise finding hospitals and medical facilities that are close to a person's residence or workplace, especially if the person has a medical condition that increases his risk of having a stroke.