How to Recognize the Signs of Stroke

By John R. Marler

Part of Stroke For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Knowing how to recognize the signs of stroke will help you act faster in response. The onset of stroke is typically sudden. Being aware of major signs and responding to them as rapidly as they occur is critical in order to minimize damage to your brain, improve chances of recovery — and even save your life.

The FAST way to recognize stroke:

  • F — Face numbness or weakness, especially on one side

  • A — Arm numbness or weakness, especially on one side

  • S — Speech slurring or difficulty speaking or understanding

  • T — Time to call 911 if these occur suddenly or are accompanied by loss of vision, loss of balance with dizziness, or the worst headache of your life with no known cause, both sudden and severe.