What are The Symptoms of a Stroke?

If you or someone you’re with may be having a stroke, pay particular attention to the time the symptoms began. Some treatment options are most effective when given soon after a stroke begins.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Strokes?

Signs and symptoms of stroke include:

• Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate that you’re having a stroke.

• Problems seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, and you may see double.

• Trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying. You may experience confusion, slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech.

• Trouble walking. You may stumble or lose your balance. You may also have sudden dizziness or a loss of coordination

• Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in your face, arm or leg. This often affects just one side of your body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Also, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.

What causes stroke?

Certain risk factors contribute to having a stroke. Some risk factors for stroke can be changed, treated, or controlled. For example, high blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for stroke. High blood pressure can be controlled. Other risk factors include: Being inactive. Being overweight. Uncontrolled diabetes. High cholesterol. Smoking. Over age 55 years. Family history of stroke. Being African American. Being female. Having a previous stroke or transient ischemic attack.

What Are The Causes of The Different Types of Strokes?

Now let’s go more specific looking at the different types of strokes and their causative agents:

Thrombotic stroke which is the blockage of an artery in the brain by a clot (thrombosis) is the most common cause of a stroke. The part of the brain that is supplied by the clotted blood vessel is then deprived of blood and oxygen. As a result of the deprivation of blood and oxygen, the cells of that part of the brain dies, and the part of the body that it controls stops working.

Typically, a cholesterol plaque in one of the brain’s small blood vessels ruptures and starts the clotting process. Risk factors for narrowed blood vessels in the brain are the same as those that cause narrowing blood vessels in the heart and heart attack (myocardial infarction). These risk factors include: high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking.

Embolic Stroke: This type of stroke may occur when a blood clot or a piece of atherosclerotic plaque (cholesterol and calcium deposits on the wall of the inside of the heart or artery) breaks loose, travels through the bloodstream, and lodges in an artery in the brain. When blood flow stops, brain cells do not receive the oxygen and glucose they require to function and a stroke occurs. This type of stroke is referred to as an embolic stroke.

For example, a blood clot might originally form in the heart chamber as a result of an irregular heart rhythm, like atrial fibrillation. Usually, these clots remain attached to the inner lining of the heart, but occasionally they can break off, travel through the bloodstream (embolize), block a brain artery, and cause a stroke. An embolism, either plaque or clot, may also originate in a large artery (for example, the carotid artery which is a major artery in the neck that supplies blood to the brain) and then travel downstream to clog a small artery within the brain.

Cerebral hemorrhage:  A cerebral hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain tissues. A cerebral hemorrhage (i.e. bleeding in the brain) causes stroke symptoms by depriving blood and oxygen to parts of the brain in a variety of ways. Blood flow is lost to some cells. Additionally, blood is very irritating and can cause swelling of brain tissue (cerebral edema). Edema and the accumulation of blood from a cerebral hemorrhage increases pressure within the skull and causes further damage by squeezing the brain against the bony skull. This further decreases blood flow to brain tissue and its cells.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage: In this type of hemorrhage, blood accumulates in the space beneath the arachnoid membrane that lines the brain. This blood may originates from an abnormal blood vessel that leaks or ruptures. This is often from an abnormal ballooning out of the blood vessel. Subarachnoid hemorrhages, Usually cause a sudden severe headache, nausea, vomiting, light intolerance, and stiff neck. If not recognized and treated, major neurological consequences, such as coma, and brain death may occur.

 Vasculitis – Another rare cause of stroke is vasculitis, a condition in which the blood vessels become inflamed causing decreased blood flow to parts of the brain. Migraine headache: There appears to be a very slight increased occurrence of stroke in people with migraine headaches. The mechanism for migraine or vascular headaches includes narrowing of the brain blood vessels. Some migraine headache episodes can even mimic stroke with loss of function of one side of the body or vision or speech problems. Usually, the symptoms resolve as the headache resolves.

What is The Best Treatment for Strokes

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