Recognizing stroke symptoms can save a life — yours or a loved one. The sooner you receive treatment, the better the chance for a full recovery.

Symptoms of a stroke depend on which side of the brain the stroke is occurring in.

Depending on if it is the left or the right side, different parts of the body will show signs.

Quick treatment is important to preserving brain function.

Know the Signs B.E.F.A.S.T.

B.E.F.A.S.T. is a helpful way to notice the signs of a stroke. If you notice these signs, call 911 right away.

  • Balance: Loss of balance, headache or dizziness 
  • Eyes: Blurred vision
  • Face Drooping: Is the person’s face droopy or numb on one side? Ask the person to smile to get a better idea if there face is affected.
  • Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? If you ask the person to raise their arms and one side drifts down, this could be a sign of a stroke.
  • Speech Difficulty: Is the person’s speech slurred or uneven? Ask them to repeat a phrase, like “I like chocolate” to help you determine if they could be having a stroke
  • Time to call 9-1-1: Only one of these symptoms could be a sign of a stroke. Call for help immediately.

If you suspect that you or a loved one is having a stroke, the B.E.F.A.S.T. exam is a quick test that anyone can do!

Beyond B.E.F.A.S.T. – Other Stroke Symptoms You Should Know

Numbness or weakness of the leg, arm or face

Confusion or trouble understanding

Vision problems in one or both eyes

Difficulty walking, sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

A severe headache that starts out of nowhere

AHA 2020 Get with the guidelines - Gold Plus - Stroke