Strokes happen due to impaired blood circulation in the brain. They are also known as brain attacks and are the fourth leading reason for mortality in the States. Moreover, they are the main reason for handicap in adults.
There are two types of stroke:
Hemorrhagic type (cerebral hemorrhage) is less common and refers to strokes that happen due to bleeding around or within the brain.
Ischemic type, happens when there is some sort of obstacle in the brain channels, which impairs the normal circulation of blood.
On the positive side, there are signs that warn us of an upcoming stroke. This means we can protect ourselves! Learn what the symptoms of stroke are so that you can seek help in time and prevent extensive brain damage that can leave you handicap!
The Most Common Stroke Warning Signs
It should be noted that symptoms vary from person to person and depend on the type of stroke. Here is a list of the most usual stroke symptoms:
- Numbness, usually on one side, in the legs, arms, or face
- Difficulties talking and understanding what others are saying
- Reduced balance and focus
- The following symptoms are also common:
- Impaired vision in one or both eyes
- Temporary paralysis, complete or of a body part
- Mood swings, feelings of depression with no particular reason
The FAST Acronym
The FAST acronym is the easiest way to learn the symptoms of a stroke. Knowing what it means might save your life!
Face – Check if one side of the face seems distorted. This is easiest if you try to smile.
Arms – Lift the arms. If one of them tends to move downwards, you should be worried.
Speech – Try to repeat a certain sentence or phrase. If the speech is indistinctive, unclear or strange, see your doctor.
Time – Once you notice one of the indicated warning signs, every minute is important. Make sure you call the ambulance ASAP!
All of the above-mentioned symptoms happen suddenly and develop quickly. Do not wait for them to pass, it might be too late. Seek for help immediately!
Also, it is not wise for you to drive yourself to the hospital because you might get a stroke while driving. Call an ambulance instead. Whatever happens, medical professionals will be with you and help if necessary.
Even if the symptoms disappear soon, make sure to see your doctor. Such cases are known as transient ischemic assaults (TIAs) and may imply an upcoming stroke as well!
Stroke Vs. Migraines – How to Tell Them Apart
The symptoms of stroke and migraine are often confused. Here is how to tell them apart:
- Stroke symptoms occur suddenly, whereas migraine symptoms are gradual.
- Migraine symptoms increase under the influence of external stimulation such as flashing images, whereas stroke symptoms develop regardless of such external factors.
Who is Under the Risk of a Stroke?
Strokes can happen to anyone at any time, but there are a few factors that increase the odds:
- Health issues including heart disease and irregular heartbeat
- Blood-connected problems like iImpaired circulation or high blood pressure
- Migraines accompanied by mood swings
- Age over 50
- Family anamnesis
How to avoid a stroke? Reduce the risks by balancing your diet; eat more fruits and veggies, and try to be more physically active!