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Stroke

What Are The Signs Of A Stroke?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 16:53

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

The warning signs of stroke are:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, and leg on one side of the body
  • Sudden loss of vision or dimmed vision, particularly in one eye
  • Loss of speech, or trouble talking or understanding speech
  • Sudden, severe headaches with no apparent cause
  • Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness, or sudden falls, especially if accompanied by any of the previous symptoms

Most severe headaches are not a sign of stroke. Migraine, which can cause quite severe and sometimes alarming headaches, is very common and affects about one in five people.

How-To Information:

If you experience migraines, how can you tell if your headache is just another migraine - or a sign of stroke?

A headache caused by a stroke:

  • Will come on very suddenly, without the aura that sometimes precedes migraines
  • Has been described by stroke survivors as "the worst headache of my life"
  • Will build up to a peak within a minute or two
  • May be accompanied by vomiting and a stiff neck

What Do Different Parts Of The Brain Do?

The brain is a very complicated organ. Although it is a relatively small part of the body, it uses one-quarter of the blood supply.

When a person is right handed, the left side of the brain is dominant. About 90 percent of left-handed people have the right side of the brain dominant.

Nice To Know:

In general, the right side of the brain processes:

  • Music
  • Art
  • Mathematics
  • Memory
  • Hearing
  • Sight
  • Movement

In general, the left side of the brain processes:

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Understanding
  • Memory
  • Hearing
  • Sight
  • Movement

Stroke