Symptoms & Prevention

Stroke Symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of stroke seen in both men and women may include the following:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Women may report different stroke symptoms than men, and may include the following:

  • Sudden face and limb pain
  • Sudden hiccups
  • Sudden nausea
  • Sudden general weakness
  • Sudden chest pain
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sudden heart palpitations

If you or anyone you know has any of the above symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Symptoms of a stroke

Pete Roy, MD, neurology, Mount Nittany Physician Group, discusses how to spot the signs of a stroke.

Symptoms of a stroke

Audio clip.

Stroke Prevention

While many risk factors may be beyond your control (such as being over the age of 55), there are lifestyle and medical changes you can make to reduce your risk of stroke.

If you’ve had a previous stroke (including a TIA or “mini stroke”), or if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, atrial fibrillation or carotid artery disease, a healthcare professional may be able to help you control and manage your risk for stroke.

Being overweight, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol can also increase your risk for stroke. It’s important to eat healthily, quit smoking, exercise regularly, and limit alcohol consumption to limit stroke risk.

In addition, there are other risk factors for stroke that are unique to women, which may include the following:

  • Taking birth control pills
  • Being pregnant
  • Using hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Having a waist greater than 35 inches and high triglyceride level
  • Being a migraine headache sufferer

To understand your stroke risk and how you might manage your risk, talk with your physician.