Stroke

Find Out Your Stroke Risk, Now!

A stroke occurs if the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a portion of the brain is blocked. Without oxygen, brain cells start to die after a few minutes. Sudden bleeding in the brain also can cause a stroke if it damages brain cells.

If brain cells die or are damaged because of a stroke, you will start to see signs in the parts of the body that these brain cells control.

Signs of a stroke include:

  • Sudden weakness
  • Cannot move or feel your face, arms or legs
  • Trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Trouble seeing

A stroke is a serious medical condition that requires emergency care. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death.

If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, call 9–1–1 right away. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. During a stroke, every minute counts.

Overview

The two main types of stroke are ischemic (is-KE-mik) and hemorrhagic (hem-ah-RAJ-ik). Ischemic is the more common type of stroke.

An ischemic stroke is when an artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked. Blood clots often cause the blockages that lead to ischemic strokes.
 
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs if an artery in the brain leaks or breaks open. The pressure from the leaked blood damages brain cells. High blood pressure and aneurysms (AN-u-risms) are examples of conditions that can cause hemorrhagic strokes. Aneurysms are balloon-like bulges in an artery that can stretch and burst.

TIA’s or Mini Strokes

A condition similar to a stroke is a transient ischemic attack, also called a TIA or “mini-stroke.” A TIA occurs if blood flow to a portion of the brain is blocked for a short time. Thus, damage to the brain cells isn’t permanent (lasting).

Like ischemic strokes, TIAs often are caused by blood clots. Although TIAs are not full-blown strokes, if you have one, the chance of having a full-blown stoke is very high.  If you have a TIA, it’s important for your doctor to find the cause so you can take steps to prevent a stroke.

Both strokes and TIAs require emergency care.

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