Learn to recognise stroke signs and symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of a stroke depend on the area of the brain that is affected. Typically, symptoms come on suddenly, over seconds to minutes. 

Common stroke signs and symptoms

  • Sudden headache
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Confusion or trouble understanding speech
  • Vision loss or blurry vision in one or both eyes 
  • Weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg
  • Dizziness, loss of balance, lack of coordination


FAST is an acronym used to rapidly check for common signs of stroke.

The letters stand for:
Face – has one side of the person's mouth or face drooped?  
Arm – can the person lift both their arms?
Speech – is the person's speech slurred or strange? 
Time – if the person shows any of the above signs, it's time to seek medical help.

Read next: QBI's Stroke Recovery Research Laboratories
Back to: Stroke facts