A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. So, within a few minutes, the brain cells start to die. Stroke is therefore a medical emergency and prompt treatment is crucial.
Namely, early action can minimize damage and potential complications.
In this article, we reveal the 10 warning signs of stroke you should watch out for.
There are two types of stroke: ischemic stroke caused by a blockage; a hemorrhagic stroke caused by a ruptured blood vessel.
Both types of stroke deprive part of the brain of blood and oxygen, causing brain cells to die.
What is an ischemic stroke?
Ischemic stroke is the most common and occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel and therefore prevents blood and oxygen from reaching part of the brain. This can happen in two ways:
· When a clot forms somewhere in the body and lodges in a blood vessel in the brain. This is called an embolic stroke.
· When a clot forms directly in a blood vessel in the brain. This is called a thrombotic stroke.
What is a hemorrhagic stroke?
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures or during bleeding, thereby preventing blood from reaching part of the brain. The bleeding can occur in any blood vessel in the brain or in the membrane surrounding the brain.
10 stroke symptoms you should watch out for
There are more than 130,000 strokes each year in France, or one every four minutes. According to INSERM, stroke is the leading cause of disability occurring in adulthood and the second leading cause of dementia and death.
– Sudden paralysis or numbness of the face, arms or legs. It usually happens on one side of your body. When this happens, try to lift both of your arms above your head at the same time. If one arm starts to drop, you could be having a stroke.
– Difficulty in speaking and understanding: you may feel a kind of confusion and have difficulty expressing your thoughts and understanding the speech of others.
– Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes: Your vision may suddenly become cloudy or dark in one or both eyes.
– Difficulty walking: You may trip or experience dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination.
– Sudden, severe headache: A sudden, severe headache, accompanied by dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate that you are having a stroke.
Less frequent symptoms
The symptoms below occur most of the time in women:
– Sudden nausea and vomiting for no apparent reason
– loss of consciousness, confusion or seizures
– A hiccup that does not stop
– Unexplained pain in the face and limbs
– Shortness of breath for no reason accompanied by chest pain
How to assess these symptoms?
If someone you know has these symptoms, start by asking them to smile and see if any side of their face is sagging.
Then ask him to raise his arms and see if it drifts. Finally, ask them to say a relatively simple sentence and watch if their words are scrambled or if their speech is cloudy.
How to react in the event of a stroke?
– Contact the emergency room immediately and do not wait for the symptoms to disappear. Know that the sooner the patient is taken care of, the less sequelae he will have.
Also, it is best not to take the patient by car and wait for the paramedics. The latter will be able to perform first aid measures.
– Call for help even if the symptoms disappear. This is because in a transient ischemic attack, the symptoms do not last long.
However, you should know that this is a warning indicating a major stroke.
– Take note of when the symptoms appeared because there are medicines that cannot be used after a certain time.
– Do not give aspirin to someone who is having a stroke. If it is bleeding, the aspirin will thin the blood even more.