Maybe you ate too fast and hiccups ensure — that’s not so scary. But a sudden onset of relentless, painful hiccups can indicate a stroke on the way, according to Ohio State University’s Director of Neuroscience Diana Greene-Chandos, M.D.
Experts associate hiccuping with a specific stroke that occurs in the back of the brain (instead of the top), which is more common in women. But no matter your gender, take severe hiccups seriously, especially if they’re associated with other stroke symptoms.
2. Severe headache
When a headache — a less common sign — does signal a stroke, it’s usually a “thunderclap” headache. These come on suddenly and will likely be the most painful headache you’ve ever had.
Thunderclap headaches are also a common sign of a brain aneurysm, so seek medical attention immediately if you experience one. If your headache accompanies any of the “BE FAST” signs, which we’ll outline on page 4, it could be a stroke.
Many people recognize slurring your words as a stroke sign. But losing your place in a conversation or forgetting what the other person just said can also signal the disease.
People often mistake confusion for nothing more than a “senior moment,” which is why it often doesn’t cause alarm. However, if you experience confusion along with any other stroke symptoms, seek medical attention.