Symptoms of a stroke include difficulty speaking, difficulty understanding, headache, difficulty seeing and trouble walking, as listed by Mayo Clinic. Patients may also experience numbness or paralysis of a leg, an arm or the face.
Stroke sufferers may slur their speech, become confused or have a hard time understanding spoken language, according to Mayo Clinic. Blurred or blackened vision may occur in one or both eyes, or the sufferer may have double vision. One side of the mouth may droop when the sufferer attempts to smile if facial paralysis is present, and rapid weakening or paralysis of the legs or arms can occur on one side of the body. A severe headache is a stroke symptom that may accompany dizziness, vomiting or altered consciousness. Stumbling or a loss of coordination or balance while walking is also possible.
To identify a stroke, a companion should ask the potential victim to smile to see if half of the mouth droops, as instructed by Mayo Clinic. The companion should also ask the stroke victim to raise both arms to see if one drifts downward, and the victim should repeat a short phrase to allow the companion to listen for unusual speech. If any symptoms are present, the companion should contact emergency medical services immediately.