Strokes are caused when a part of the brain is deprived of oxygen.If not treated promptly, strokes can have serious consequences, including paralysis and death. Therefore, it is important to seek medical assistance as soon as symptoms begin.
Symptoms of Stroke
Strokes can be life threatening, therefore it is important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Contact emergency medical services if you or someone you know suddenly experiences:
- Paralysis in the limbs, especially if it is limited to one side.
- Weakness or numbness in the limbs
- Blindness or impaired vision
- Severe headaches, which feel different to normal headaches.
Depending on the cause, strokes can be categorised in the following ways:
- Ischemic stroke:
This is the most common type of stroke. Ischemic strokes occur when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked or cut off, possibly due to a blood clot or blocked artery. Without blood flowing in, oxygen cannot reach that area of the brain and brain then cannot perform the functions associated with it.
- Hemorrhagic stroke:
There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes: Intracerebral hemorrhage, which happens within the brain, and subarachnoid hemorrhage, which occurs around the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when blood vessels burst. The resulting bleeding has adverse effects on the brain tissue and symptoms begin to present. Two types of weakened blood vessels usually cause hemorrhagic stroke: aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
- Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
TIAs are “mini strokes” which are caused by blocked arteries. Unlike ischemic strokes, TIAs have short term effects and resolve themselves, which often leads to patients ignoring the symptoms altogether.
TIAs are not life threatening, but they do often serve as precursors to more serious strokes and treating them early may prevent damage further down the line.
For additional information on Strokes and TIAs or to learn more about your specific risk for developing these issues, contact Dr Allison Richardson today!