What are the 5 warning signs of stroke?

November 28, 2023 0

Stroke, a devastating cerebrovascular event, poses a significant global health challenge. Often called a “brain attack,” stroke can leave people with life-altering disabilities. The urgency of addressing this issue becomes evident when we consider the statistics.

In 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for approximately 5.5 million deaths annually. Shockingly, over 80 million people have experienced a stroke, and many live with its consequences, making it one of the leading causes of long-term disability.

Additionally, 1 in 4 aults over 25 will experience a stroke at some point in their lifetime, and 14.5 million people will do so this year.

Despite its prominence, stroke remains a misunderstood and underestimated threat. This blog aims to shed light on this silent but deadly condition, emphasizing the crucial role of awareness and early recognition.

What is a Stroke?

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a stroke happens when the brain’s blood supply is cut off, depriving it of oxygen and nourishment. The cells in the brain start to die when it is depleted of oxygen and nutrients. This may result in brain damage that renders a person disabled or even fatal.

The most frequent type of stroke is an ischemic stroke, in which a blood clot or plaque prevents blood from reaching the brain or an artery. Ischemic strokes account for about 87% of all strokes. A blood vessel bursts and spills blood into the brain, causing a hemorrhagic stroke. These are less frequent and account for only 13% of strokes.

Some patients may have a “mini-stroke” or transient ischemic attack (TIA) before having a stroke.

According to Dr. Vikas Gupta, a senior consultant of neurosurgery and neuro-interventional surgery at Kailash Deepak Memorial Hospital, Delhi, “TIAs have stroke symptoms that resolve within a very short period, typically within 20 to 60 minutes, but by definition within 24 hours.” “And it can indicate that a more serious stroke may occur in the short term.”

According to Dr. Gupta, the chance of having a stroke is typically 10% to 15% within three months after a TIA, with around half of these strokes happening within the first week. “If someone has a TIA, it is an indicator that they need medical attention, even if their symptoms have resolved.”

Stroke medications are most successful when administered as soon as symptoms appear – early treatment can enhance chances of survival and help avoid long-term damage.

That is why it is critical to understand the early warning symptoms of a stroke and the actions you should take to seek the appropriate care as soon as possible.

What are the 5 Warning Symptoms of a Stroke?

Knowing the symptoms of a stroke, you can quickly identify what’s going on and get help. Every minute counts to help lessen brain damage. Below are the five stroke symptoms, which typically happen suddenly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):


During a stroke, you might suddenly feel numb, weak, or unable to move your face, arm, or leg, typically on just one side of your body. This can cause your face to sag, making lifting an arm or leg hard. It’s a clear sign of trouble, indicating an urgent need for medical attention to minimize the damage caused by a stroke. This alarming sign necessitates immediate medical care to limit the stroke’s impact.


During a stroke, confusion can cloud your thoughts. You might struggle to speak clearly, causing your words to slur or making it hard to find the right words. It’s like a mental fog that disrupts your ability to communicate. Understanding others can also become a challenge. These issues are significant signs of a stroke and require immediate medical attention to prevent further harm.

Trouble seeing:

When it comes to stroke, vision problems can be a red flag. You might experience double vision, where you see two of everything. Alternatively, your image may become hazy, like looking through a foggy window. Some people even report a darkening of their vision. These symptoms can affect one or both eyes. Any sudden changes in your vision during a stroke should not be ignored, as they indicate a critical situation requiring immediate medical attention to mitigate potential damage.

Trouble walking:

A stroke can swiftly disrupt your ability to walk, causing dizziness, loss of balance, and coordination. The ground beneath you becomes unsteady, and your movements become uncoordinated, akin to a marionette with cut strings. Simple actions like walking straight may become daunting tasks. If you experience these difficulties, seeking immediate medical attention is critical, as time is crucial in stroke cases. Quick intervention increases the chances of a better outcome by minimizing brain damage and improving the road to recovery.

Severe headache:

A severe headache, striking like a storm within your head, can be a sign of a stroke, even when its cause is unclear. This excruciating headache might come with unwelcome companions like vomiting, dizziness, or a change in awareness. It feels like your head is caught in a vice grip, and the pain is unlike any you’ve experienced. Recognizing this symptom is crucial because swift action can make a significant difference in the outcome of a stroke, preventing further damage and offering a better chance at recovery. Don’t underestimate an unexplained severe headache; it could be a warning sign.

Can the Risk of These Symptoms be Reduced?

With 35 years of experience, Dr. Vikas Gupta is a trusted doctor for lowering the risk of stroke. 

One satisfied patient of Dr. Vikas stated, “While every other neurosurgeon suggested brain surgery for my 5-month-old daughter, he was the only one who very clearly, persuasively, and severely told us not to consider surgery.” For this, he had a brief consultation with us, addressing our concerns and ensuring that we understood the entire circumstance; such surgeons are challenging to come by. 

Another patient stated, “Dr. Vikas Gupta is a well-regarded neurosurgeon in Delhi. If you’ve had a long-standing back or spine problem, I strongly advise you to seek his advice. Dr. Vikas Gupta conducted spine surgery on me on December 5, 2020, and I was back to work without incident by January 18, 2021. His attention to detail and technique are excellent. I’m eternally thankful to Dr. Vikas for providing me with a pain-free existence. Do not hesitate to talk with him if you are experiencing health issues. He will find the finest option for you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dr. Vikas Gupta.”

According to Dr. Viaks Gupta, stroke may affect anybody, although factors such as smoking or physical inactivity might raise one’s risk.

“We urge at least 30 minutes of exercising at least five days a week,” Dr. Gupta explains. “It is also advised that we watch what we eat and choose a plant-based diet with lower amounts of meat and fish, or what is known as a Mediterranean diet — and avoid processed foods.”

Dr. Vikas Gupta believes that controlling your blood pressure is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of stroke. While over half of individuals have high blood pressure (hypertension), only about one-quarter have it under control.

“Hypertension is what we call a silent killer because people can have high blood pressure without even knowing it,” Dr. Gupta adds. Routine examinations are vital for controlling high blood pressure and, as a result, minimizing the risk of stroke. Most patients with high blood pressure are advised to take prescription medication and make lifestyle changes.

“If we treated everyone’s blood pressure adequately worldwide, we might potentially cut stroke by 50%,” says Dr. Gupta.

While lifestyle modifications may avoid many strokes, it is crucial to recognize the warning signals if one does occur. Acting promptly can help save a life and lessen the danger of brain damage and other consequences.

What is the Cost of Stroke Treatment in Delhi NCR?

The cost of stroke treatment in Delhi NCR varies depending on factors such as facility selection, treatment procedures, and the severity of the stroke. Generally, stroke treatment costs range from INR 50,000 to INR 5,00,000 or more


The five warning signs of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, trouble seeing, difficulty walking, and a severe unexplained headache. Recognizing these signs is crucial because immediate medical attention can help minimize the damage caused by a stroke and improve the chances of recovery. Being aware of these warning signs and acting promptly can make a life-saving difference in stroke, a condition where time is of the essence.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Is a stroke solely caused by old age?

No, while the risk of stroke increases with age, strokes can occur at any age.

  1. What is the distinction between ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes?

Blood clots cause ischemic strokes, whereas hemorrhagic strokes are caused by brain blood vessel rupture.

  1. Are mini-strokes, also known as TIAs, a symptom of a stroke?

Yes, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are frequently precursors to more catastrophic strokes and need rapid medical intervention.

  1. Do men and women have distinct stroke symptoms?

While the primary symptoms are the same, women may experience extra symptoms depending on unique risk factors.

  1. Beyond lifestyle modifications, how can I minimize my risk of stroke?

Blood pressure control and frequent medical check-ups are critical in lowering the risk of stroke.

Read Also:From Diagnosis to Treatment: What Role Does Neuro-Oncology Play in Enhancing Patient Outcomes?

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