Symptoms of stroke appear suddenly and last only a few minutes or hours, but rarely more than 2 days. Everyone should be able to recognize the five main symptoms of stroke and seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms occur:
- sudden numbness or paralysis reaching the face, arm or leg (usually on one side of body only);
- the sudden appearance of a slurred speech or difficulty in understanding what is said;
- the sudden loss of vision (often in one eye) or double vision;
- the sudden onset of dizziness or balance problems or coordination;
- of severe headache and unusual occurring suddenly without apparent cause (often described as "the worst headache of my life."
A transient ischemic attack or TIA is a "mini-stroke" caused by temporary interruption of blood flow to the brain. Symptoms of a TIA are the same as those of a stroke, except that they disappear within a few minutes or hours, and they usually last no more than 24 hours. However, TIAs require immediate medical attention the same as stroke. TIAs are important warning signs of a stroke as possible. Medical care is needed.