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Stroke Symptoms

Although stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the number one cause of long-term adult disability many people do not know the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Use the acronym BE FAST to identify the signs of stroke. Remember time lost is brain lost.

BE FAST Stroke Signs and Symptoms

B - Balance
Is the person having sudden loss of balance or coordination?

E - Eyes
Is the person experiencing sudden vision changes or loss of vision in one or both eyes?

F - Face Drooping
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the smile uneven?

A- Arm Weakness
Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S - Speech Difficulty
Is speech slurred or are they unable to speak? Are they difficult to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, are they able to repeat it correctly?

T - Time to call 911
Stroke is an emergency. Every minute counts. Call 911 immediately. Note the time when any of the symptoms first appear.


During an ischemic stroke, arteries to your brain get blocked or become narrowed by a blood clot.

Stroke-brain stroke services

Stroke Risk Factors

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Physical inactivity and obesity
  • Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Family history of stroke

Reduce Your Risk

  • Control cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Control diabetes
  • Avoid smoking
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a healthy diet