Doctor lays bare red flag signs of stroke that can appear in your eyes

Stroke: CDC outlines the main signs and how to respond

The popular depiction of stroke symptoms usually involves a person struggling to speak or losing their balance.

While this is exactly how the medical emergency can unfold, your eyes could also hold clues, a doctor has warned.

Dr Jørn Slot Jørgensen, leading ophthalmologist at Laser Eye Clinic London, said: “Some people think that visiting an ophthalmologist is only necessary if you have an eye condition or need vision correction. 

“However, this is a widespread misconception that also applies to medical situations in general.

“In fact, an ophthalmologist might be the first physician to diagnose a medical condition because the initial signs may appear in the eye.”

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Since stroke is triggered by a disruption of blood flow to your brain, your eyes can also take the hit.

This lack of blood flowing to these two small organs can spur on “various” symptoms, the doctor explained.

He recommended looking out for the following red flag signs:

  • Sudden vision changes: Blurriness or loss of vision in one or both eyes can occur during a stroke.
  • Double vision: Stroke can cause double vision or a sudden misalignment of the eyes.
  • Drooping eyelids: Facial weakness or drooping eyelids on one side may be indicative of a stroke.
  • Pupillary abnormalities: Unequal pupil size or unreactive pupils can be a sign of neurological issues, including stroke.

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Once you notice these symptoms, it’s “crucial” to recognise them and “respond promptly”, the doctor explained.

Strokes are considered to be medical emergencies that can be potentially life-threatening.

The sooner the affected person receives treatment, the less damage to their brain is likely to occur, the NHS explains.

Dr Jørgensen added: “Most people with stroke notice a loss of vision or a dark shadow in one eye upon waking up in the morning.

“These signs are generally acute and manifest rapidly. 

“If you notice any warning signs in the eyes that could indicate a stroke or another serious medical issue, it’s crucial to take immediate action and speak to your GP.”

The NHS recommends to dial 999 “immediately” if you notice any symptoms of a stroke.

“Even if the symptoms disappear while you’re waiting for the ambulance, it’s still important to go to hospital for an assessment,” the health service adds.

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