A stroke, also known as a brain attack, occurs when a person experiences a complete loss of or limited blood flow to their brain. The resulting lack of oxygen flow to the brain causes brain cells to begin dying almost immediately. There are two main types of stroke. A blocked artery is the most common cause. This is called an ischemic stroke. The less common type is called a hemorrhagic stroke. This happens when an artery ruptures causing blood to leak into the brain. Because a stroke affects a person’s brain function, it’s possible to be completely unaware that you are experiencing a stroke. Stroke symptoms generally appear suddenly and quickly, so knowing what to look for is the key to survival.
Symptoms of a Stroke
Numbness and/or weakness in your face, leg or arm. Stroke numbness typically is only concentrated on one side of the body.
Difficulty walking or talking, nausea or dizziness for no other apparent reason.
Slurred speech or sudden trouble speaking.
An abrupt intense headache.
A sudden inability to think clearly.
Immediate vision changes including blurred sight, seeing double or completely loosing your vision.
Symptoms of a stroke usually occur suddenly, but sometimes they begin as milder symptoms, the severity increasing gradually over several hours. Stroke symptoms are also frequently mistaken for signs of aging or as symptoms of other illnesses. Although it may be difficult to feel confident that your symptoms are indeed due to a stroke it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry. A single stroke can lead to permanent disabilities or even brain damage.
Surviving the stroke and regaining lost functionality depends heavily on receiving quick medical attention. To have the best chance of receiving effective medical treatments you must visit with a doctor within three hours of the first onset of your stroke symptoms. You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms. Call 911 if you think you are experiencing a stroke, even if the symptoms go away.