What are the symptoms of stroke?

Specialist Dr John Worthington talks about the most common symptoms of stroke.


A stroke, or transient ischaemic attack (TIA), has symptoms that act as early warning signs.

Symptoms of a stroke or TIA include:

  • a numb or weak feeling in the face, arm(s) or leg(s)
  • trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • unexplained dizziness, loss of balance or falls
  • blurred or reduced vision in one or both eyes
  • difficulty swallowing
  • severe, abrupt or unusual headache
  • confusion or unconsciousness.

The best way to remember stroke and TIA symptoms — so you can recognise a stroke straight away and get immediate help — is to learn the FAST test:

Facial weakness – can the person smile? Have their mouth or eyes drooped?
Arm weakness – can the person raise both arms?
Speech difficulty – can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
Time to act – act FAST and call 000 immediately.

Stroke is a medical emergency. The quicker you act, the better the chance of recovery.

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