Are these symptoms the early warning signs of a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the arteries to the brain become blocked or rupture, cutting off the blood supply to the brain and causing brain tissue to die. Strokes are the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of disability in the U.S. There are 2 types of strokes: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes occur when a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot or fatty deposit. About 80% of all strokes are ischemic. Most often with ischemic strokes the greatest loss of function is immediate, but 15-20% of ischemic strokes are progressive, where most loss of function occurs over the day or 2 following the stroke. A special kind of ischemic stroke if called a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or ‘mini-stroke’. TIA symptoms usually last less than 15 minutes and treatment is often ignored because there is no noticeable damage. TIAs are serious and you should get treatment even if there is no obvious stroke damage since about one-third of TIA victims have a more serious stroke in the near future. About 20% of stroke victims have a hemorrhagic stroke, where a blood vessel to the brain ruptures. Hemorrhagic strokes are the most serious type of stroke with loss of function normally occurring within minutes to hours. Getting treatment within 3 hours of the first signs of stroke can help stop the brain damamge and resulting disability. A stroke is a medical emergency. Recognizing the early symptoms, and knowing what to do, could save a life! Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see a potential stroke vicitm. Every second counts! Take this quick assessment to learn more about the early warning signs and symptoms of stroke, and help you determine if you or someone you know may have suffered a stroke. You may need this knowledge to save a life, including your own, someday.