Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. In order to protect yourself and the health of your loved ones, it is important to understand the basic reasons for a stroke as well as its signs and symptoms.
There are two main types of strokes: Ischemic and Hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes occur as a result of clots in the brain’s blood vessels which block oxygen. Eighty percent of all strokes are ischemic.
Hemorrhagic strokes are the result of a blood vessel in the brain breaking or rupturing. When this break occurs, blood soaks into the brain tissue and damages cells. This typically happens when a person has high blood pressure or weak blood vessel walls (aneurysm). Both types of stroke can result in paralysis on either side of the body, speech loss, memory loss, vision problems, etc.
Signs and symptoms of a stroke:
- Numbness in the face, arm, or leg on the left or right side of the body
- Lost or dimmed vision in one or both eyes
- Difficulty speaking or understanding others
- Intense and sudden headache
- Loss of balance
With every passing second that oxygen is blocked from the brain or blood damages its tissue, the potential for lasting, severe damage increases. Time is of the essence when it comes to minimizing the impact of a stroke, so if you notice any of these symptoms, immediately see a healthcare professional.