A stroke is often referred to as a cerebrovascular accident or a CVA for short. This occurs when the blood vessels in the brain become blocked or burst. When either one of these events occur, the oxygen supply to the brain is cut off. This will cause the brain cells to die.
A stoke will fall under one of two main categories. There is an ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke. The treatment for these two categories of strokes is very different. It is critical that the type of stroke is defined before treatment starts.
An ischemic stroke is when a major blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain becomes blocked with a blood clot. This type of stroke is treatable if it is diagnosed fast enough.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. This will cause bleeding around the brain or into the brain itself. A person that has high blood pressure and atherosclerosis is at high risk for this type of stroke. The outcome of this type of stroke is poor. Treatment can be risky and can be dangerous to the patient. But advances are being made in the treatment regimen for hemorrhagic strokes.
Early Signs of a Stroke
It is important that you are able to recognize the early signs of a stroke. The earlier a stroke is detected, the better the treatment outcome.
One of the early signs of a stroke may be sudden weakness. The victim may experience numbness or paralysis of the face. The numbness may extend to the arm or leg on one side of the body.
A change in communication skills is often one of the signs of a stroke. The stroke victim may lose their ability to speak. They may have trouble talking, such as finding the right words to communicate. The stroke victim may also lose their ability to understand what is being said to them.
Loss of vision, especially in one eye, is also one of the early signs of a stroke. The stroke victim may also complain of a sudden, severe headache, for which there is no obvious cause.
When a person is having a stroke, he may have complaints of unexplained dizziness. Another of the signs of a stroke that you may notice is the stroke victim having trouble maintaining their balance. Coordination is poor and the person may not be able to remain upright.
Early Detection and Intervention Depends on Identifying the Signs of a Stroke
Early intervention is critical for a favorable outcome in a stroke victim. If a person is having an ischemic stroke, there is medication available that can bust up the clot that is blocking the blood flow to the brain. But the stroke victim has to meet specific criteria and arrive to the emergency room within three hours of the onset of symptoms.
Becoming familiar with the early signs of a stroke may save your life or the life of a loved one. The sooner a stroke is detected, the better the outcome for survival.
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