Stroke Symptoms & Prevention

St. Vincent’s Stroke Program wants you and your loved ones to know how to prevent stroke, decrease the risks and recognize the symptoms. Making lifestyle changes NOW can help you decrease your risk of stroke.

Education and embracing a healthy lifestyle can help you reduce your risk factor. Stroke can happen at any age, especially if you have an unhealthy lifestyle or family history of stroke. Work with your doctor to determine a course of action to prevent stroke.

Signs & Symptoms

If there’s one word that sums up the occurrence of stroke, it’s “sudden”–sudden numbness or weakness, sudden confusion, sudden dizziness, sudden severe headache. The more time that passes between the sudden onset of stroke and getting treatment, the more brain cells that die. That is why it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke: so you can act quickly.

Cardinal Symptoms of Stroke Include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing affecting one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

How to spot a stroke... BE FAST!

Use the acronym BE FAST to help you remember that when a stroke strikes, seconds count, and recognizing the symptoms of a stroke can save someone's life.

Risk Factors: Know Your Stroke Risk

By getting to know you as an individual, we help you understand which risk factors for stroke can be controlled (e.g. blood pressure and cholesterol), which ones can’t (family history, gender, and age), and how to reduce your chance of stroke.

Take control over risk factors that you can change: smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol level, weight and diet. Obesity and lack of exercise are your biggest enemies as are smoking, alcohol and use of illegal drugs.

If you are older than 60, your risk increases. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes, your risk of a stroke is higher. Work with your doctor to create a stroke-prevention lifestyle plan for your specific condition.

Stroke Center