A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to your brain is cut-off or severely reduced. Prompt treatment is required to minimize brain damage and prevent further complications.
Strokes happen for different reasons
There are two main types of strokes; ischemic and hemorrhagic.
Ischemic strokes are caused by a blood clot blocking the blood flow through the arteries supplying your brain. Brain tissue that doesn’t receive sufficient oxygen cannot survive and begins to die, causing recognizable symptoms. Blood clots commonly occur due to atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of fatty deposits in your arteries. Alternatively, they may form in the heart and from there may travel and lodge in a blood vessel in the brain.
Less commonly, hemorrhagic strokes can happen due to a leak or rupture in one of the blood vessels in the brain. This causes a collection of blood in the substance of the brain which results in local damage.
Strokes have some very characteristic symptoms
Each person experiences a stroke differently from another person. However, there are some common symptoms that are easily recognizable when someone is having a stroke. The easiest way to remember these symptoms is to use the acronym B.E.F.A.S.T. The faster you act the better the outcome.