Stroke is an instant brain injury a sudden interruption of normal blood flow in the brain, accompanied by symptoms like dizziness, loss of balance, paralysis, coma, and death. A stroke usually occurs due to a blockage or injury in the blood vessels supplying the brain tissue. It is the second leading cause of death after a heart attack in America. Stroke causes permanent brain injury within minutes to hours, with almost all patients being able to recover partial or full function of their lives. The actual definition of a stroke can be extremely broad because there are many types of strokes and their effects can vary widely.
The three main types of stroke are Ischemic stroke, Vascular stroke, and Extracorporeal Stroke. An Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked, usually by a blood clot or a deposit of cholesterol. An Ischemic stroke will often result in a major stroke and permanent memory loss and disability. A Vascular stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes damaged by either a break in the blood vessel wall or a lack of blood vessel growth. A large number of people who suffer from this form of stroke live with a life-threatening condition that has no permanent cure.
There are many warning signs that you may be having a stroke. Stroke symptoms include: choking or gasping for breath, slow, shallow breathing, dry mouth, twitching or shaking, increased sensitivity to light, a feeling of weakness or dizziness, feeling of tunnel vision, feeling of numbness or tingling in arms, legs, or hands, a change in personality, confusion, depression or irritability, and loss of awareness. Stroke patients may also experience trouble swallowing food, drooling, slurred speech, a feeling of complete loss of control, dizziness, a pounding or knocking of the head, and feelings of consciousness or being unreal. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should immediately call 911 or rush to the nearest hospital. The earlier the symptoms are identified and treated, the better your chance of surviving a stroke.
One of the first signs that a person is experiencing a stroke is usually a loss of awareness. People sometimes mistake this for a heart attack, so they might think they are having a heart attack. However, if one arm is weaker than the other arm, it could also mean one arm is failing. Another sign that you may be experiencing a stroke is if you suddenly become unable to perform a simple task like picking up a cup.
Loss of memory is another sign that you may be having a stroke. Symptoms of an ischemic stroke include sudden numbness or tingling in one side of the body, difficulty with recalling things, confusion, and trouble processing information. Another quite common symptom is one-sided chest pain. These symptoms can indicate all kinds of different things, but the most common ones include a feeling of weakness in one side of the body, difficulty breathing, dizziness, weakness in the arms or legs, and a feeling of being off-balance.
Two other very important signs to look out for are hypothermia and thromboembolism. Hypothermia is when the body’s temperature becomes unusually low. This can happen because of several different things, including infection, the side effect of a medication, or just because the body’s metabolism has slowed down. A temporary ischemic attack (TIA) occurs when the blood clots in a blood vessel, preventing the brain to receive the oxygen it needs. This is known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). If the blood clot blocks off the artery supplying the brain, the person will probably die.
Stroke risk factors, on the other hand, include many different factors that increase the risk for a person to have a stroke. For example, people who smoke, have high blood pressure, and are overweight are at a greater risk of having a stroke. Alcohol use, especially over the past 15 years, also puts people at a higher risk of stroke. The symptoms of the disease are usually not visible until it is too late. If you have any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor right away.
There are a lot more symptoms than just pain or discomfort in one side of your head, however. The most common symptoms of ischemic stroke involve numbness, which can be either permanent or temporary. The other most common symptom is sudden, unexpected loss of consciousness. Other symptoms may include: trouble talking, drooping eyelids, pounding heart, dizziness, and blurred vision. Because the symptoms can vary so greatly, and they can even overlap between different parts of your body, it is essential that if you experience any of these symptoms, you should get to the hospital immediately.