A stroke is a major emergency. They can be potentially life threatening, especially if left untreated. They happen when a part of the brain stops receiving blood. It’s important for a person having a stroke to receive treatment immediately, since the sooner they receive treatment, the less the damage will be.
You can easily remember stroke symptoms with the acronym FAST: Face, Arms, Speech, Time.
Face: the face may have a lopsided appearance as the muscles on one side of the face may have stopped working. They may not be able to smile, or their eye or mouth may look lower than usual.
Arms: the person may not be able to raise their arms and keep them there due to weakness in one arm.
Speech: the person may not be able to talk coherently despite being fully awake.
Time: it’s time to call emergency services if you see these signs and symptoms.
What Causes Strokes?
Like any organ, the brain requires the nutrients and oxygen carried to it by the blood. If the blood supply is cut off, brain cells start to die. This can lead to disability, brain injury, and even death.
Strokes have two main causes:
Ischemic: The blood supply to the brain is blocked by a blood clot (this is the cause of most stroke cases).
Hemorrhagic: A weak blood vessel to the brain bursts open. A related condition is a transient ischemic attack (TIA), where the blood supply is temporarily cut off, causing a “mini-stroke.” These typically last between 30 minutes and several hours. TIAs should be taken just as seriously as a full stroke, as a TIA could indicate that you’re at risk for a full one.
Who is at Risk?
The elderly are most at risk for strokes, though they can happen at any age. those of south Asian and African descent have a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure, putting them at greater risk for strokes.
Lifestyle can also contribute to stroke risk. Smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise can put you at higher risk.
If you believe you or someone you know is having a stroke, call our 24 hr emergency clinic Cypress TX immediately.