Stroke: Warning Signs and PreventionInformation from the UW Medicine Stroke Center at Harborview Medical Center

Five common warning signs

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of face, arm or leg, especially if all 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

If you or someone you know may be having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.


A few recommendations to reduce the risk of stroke:

  • Manage chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and other conditions identified by your doctor.
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices. Follow a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly, stop smoking, limit or avoid alcohol, and avoid illicit drug use.
  • Participate in routine health care and work with your doctor to identify appropriate medical interventions, such as drug therapy or surgery.

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