What Are the Warning Symptoms of a Stroke?

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Warning symptoms of a stroke include numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side; confusion or difficulty understanding people; trouble speaking, seeing or walking; dizziness; and severe headache. These symptoms arise from the brain not getting the blood it needs, according to WebMD.

Stroke symptoms depend on the type of stroke, location in the brain and severity. Types of stroke include ischemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischemic attack, often referred to as a "mini stroke" or TIA. A less severe stroke may be more difficult to recognize, explains WebMD. Nervous system damage may be temporary or permanent. For example, the ability to speak might be lost but recover with time. Muscle weakness in an arm or leg may persist for some time.

It's important to recognize the signs of stroke and have a plan in place to get help. The sooner an individual receives treatment, the less chance of serious damage to the brain or permanent disability. It helps to note the time when symptoms begin, as this is important information for care providers, advises WebMD. Knowledge of hospital locations with primary stroke centers and 24-hour emergency care is also important. Someone experiencing signs of stroke should take immediate action to seek care.