An ischemic stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain cells. Brain cells begin to die within minutes.
A stroke is a medical emergency and prompt treatment is critical. Early intervention can reduce brain damage and other complications.
The good news is that fewer Americans are dying from strokes than in the past. Effective treatment can help prevent disability from stroke.
If you or someone you are with may be having a stroke, pay attention to when symptoms start. Some treatment options are most effective when used soon after a stroke begins.
Signs and symptoms of stroke include:
Difficulty speaking and understanding what others are saying. You may experience confusion, abusive language, or difficulty understanding speech.
Paralysis and numbness of the face, arms and legs. You may experience sudden numbness, weakness, or paralysis in your face, arms, or legs. It usually affects only one side of the body. Try to raise both arms above your head at the same time. If one arm starts to fall, you may have a stroke. And when you try to smile, one side of your mouth droops.
Trouble seeing in one or both eyes. Suddenly, one or both eyes may become blurred or black, or you may see both eyes.
Headache. A sudden, severe headache that may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, or altered consciousness may indicate that you are having a stroke.
There is a problem with walking. You might stumble and lose your balance. Also, there is a possibility of sudden dizziness and loss of movement coordination.
When to see a doctor?
Get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a stroke that seem to go away or go away completely. Think “FAST” and do the following.
Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Weapons. Ask the person to raise both hands. One arm down? Or one arm can’t stand up?
Talk. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his speech slurred or strange?
Time. If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 or call an ambulance.
Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms stop. Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the more likely it is to develop brain damage and disability.
If you are with someone who you suspect is having a stroke, keep a close eye on that person while you wait for emergency help.