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What is a stroke?

Stroke is a medical condition in which the brain is unable to get the proper supply of blood. As a result of which nutrients and oxygen don’t reach the brain cells and they start dying. The brain damage depends on the time for which the blood supply to the brain is hindered. As a result of stroke patients can suffer from memory loss and many other complications which can even lead to death. Over the last few decades, improvements in the healthcare system have significantly decreased the number of people dying due to a stroke.

What are symptoms of a stroke?

There is no way a stroke can be predicted before it happens. Yet once a patient has a stroke, it gets quite visible as the patient might show one or multiple symptoms listed below.

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Extreme weakness
  • Paralysis of half or certain parts of the body
  • Loss of vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of speech or understanding what someone is saying
  • Severe headache or vomiting

What things increase risk of stroke?

The risk of a stroke usually depends on a patient’s lifestyle. Patients who suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other cardiovascular problems are most prone to strokes. Diabetes and old age are also a factor behind strokes. In general, there is no certainty what will increases a patient’s risk of getting a stroke but controlling these few things can decrease the risk significantly. Obesity is one of the main causes behind fat buildup in the blood vessels, this fat can decrease the blood flow creating clots that are responsible for strokes. Apart from this mental stress, depression and anxiety also play a significant role in some patients.

How many types of strokes are there?

Strokes have been categorized into three main types. We will be providing general information about these strokes, please consult a doctor or seek emergency medical assistance in case someone is having a stroke.

Ischemic Stroke

Ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot that stops the blood flowing to the brain. This is usually caused by fat deposited in the blood vessels that stop the blood flow and form a clot. This blood clot can either be formed within the brain or it can travel from some other part of the brain. It is an embolic stroke if the clot travels from some other part of the brain, in case the clot is formed within the brain it will be called a thrombotic stroke.

Transient Ischemic Attack

A Transient Ischemic Attack, medically termed as TIA is a mini-stroke. It usually happens when the flow of blood to the brain is stopped for a small period of time usually a few minutes, after which the blood flow gets restored once the clot moves out of the brain. The symptoms of a TIA are similar to an Ischemic Stroke but they tend to go away a few minutes and it usually doesn’t damage the brain.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

This is the most severe type of stroke and the hardest to treat. A hemorrhage happens when one of the blood vessels in the brain gets ruptured. As a result of which the blood flows over the tissues and supply to parts of the brain is stopped. Hemorrhage can be caused by a swollen blood vessel that erupts, an abnormally formed blood vessel that ruptures, or a weak blood vessel that ruptures due to high blood pressure.

What to do in case of a stroke?

Call 911 or emergency services if you are in the US. Emergency responders are fully equipped to deal with a stroke. If you are around a hospital take the patient to the hospital as soon as possible and do mention the time when the first symptoms were noticed.