Stroke symptoms

A stroke is a highly dangerous situation in which a person’s brain suffers from a critical deficiency of oxygen due to an interruption of the blood supply in the head. Unlike other parts of the body, the brain is particularly sensitive to oxygen deprivation and will start dying within minutes of losing oxygen. As you can imagine, if you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms of a stroke, which we will discuss shortly, you need to contact a medical professional immediately. Without immediate treatment, a stroke is deadly.

Luckily, many people are able to recover from a stroke given they receive the proper care. In the past, the majority of people that suffered a stroke either died or suffered from permanent brain dysfunction. However, every year fewer and fewer Americans will die from a stroke and of those that survive, many have a chance of a full recovery.

The major risk factors for heart conditions and strokes are chronic issues, such as having high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Smoking and heavy alcohol consumption are also significant dietary risk factors that can be minimized.

With regard to the different types of strokes, there are generally two kinds:

  • Ischemic stroke – this kind of stroke results from a loss of oxygen in the blood or a loss of blood in the brain. This type of stroke usually results from a blockage or clot in the arteries. This type of stroke can also happen when there is a significant injury to the brain from an accident. There are also cases when a small blood clot, one that is usually not spotted until it is too late, is swept from the heart into the brain or arteries leading to the brain, which results in lack of blood flow.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke – This type of stroke is a result of too much blood in the skull, such as when a blood vessel ruptures or has a leak. In this instance, there is simply too much pressure built up inside of the cranium, which causes damage to the rest of the blood vessels inside of the brain, leading to death or near death. In other cases, the leak causes a lack of blood flow to the other parts of the brain, which leads to oxygen deprivation.

Now that we’ve discussed the actual condition, let’s talk about stroke symptoms so that you know what to look for and how to react should you or someone you know suffer from this condition.

The first symptom is difficulty walking or even a loss of balance. People suffering from a stroke can also suffer from dizziness before the condition worsens.

The next symptom is an inability to speak clearly, such as a slight slur. In some cases, the person might be unable to think of the words necessary to complete a sentence.

There is also a common test used to test for a stroke. If you ask someone to smile and one side of their face is drooping, then the condition might be serious. This is because the oxygen deprivation leads to impaired brain function that leads to numbness on a certain side of the body and /or face.

Lastly, some other common stroke symptoms are headache, such as a thunderclap headache (sign of an aneurism) or blurred vision.

If you or someone you know is suffering from these symptoms and they have come on suddenly, then you need to call an ambulance immediately, as time is of the essence. As the person to smile, lift both arms above their head, say a sentence, and tell you what they see. If any of these issues present themselves, then you have very little time to act.

Last updated on Oct 11th, 2009 and filed under Neurological Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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