Strokes are one of the most terrifying and abrupt conditions a woman can face, and if it does happen to you, it is imperative that you understand what is happening and how to respond so you can act immediately. The sooner you can detect these symptoms, the sooner you will be able to receive the care you need.
According to the National Stroke Association, the most recognizable symptoms of a stroke include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of your face or limbs, especially on one side of your body.
- Sudden confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding questions.
- Sudden trouble with your sight, either in one or both eyes.
- Sudden dizziness or loss of balance and coordination.
- Sudden and intense headache with no apparent cause.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should call 911 immediately.
In an effort to make recognizing stroke symptoms easier, the American Stroke Association has developed an acronym that serves as a self-detection tool. Whether you use it to confirm your own symptoms or to help someone else who may be having a stroke, this acronym could help the symptoms of a stroke be easier to recognize:
- F: Face drooping. Have the person you are evaluating attempt to smile. If their smile is uneven, call 911.
- A: Arm weakness. If the person tries to lift his/her arms and is unable to bring them both to the same height, call 911.
- S: Speech difficulty. If the person's speech is slurred or cannot be understood, try to have them repeat a simple phrase back to you. If he/she is unable to, or cannot remember what you said, call 911.
- T: If the person has exhibited any of these symptoms, then it is time to get help. Call 911 immediately. Also, note what time the symptoms appeared, as it will aid the doctors in treating the patient.
It may seem unnecessary to consider these symptoms now, but strokes can occur unexpectedly. It is better to be overly safe and prepare yourself now, then to be caught in a sudden situation and not know how to react. You may end up saving someone's life - maybe even your own!
For more information on strokes, be sure to check out the links below:
- National Stroke Association
- American Stroke Association
- Go Red for Women
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention