A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain gets blocked or ruptures. As a result, parts of the brain become damaged or die. This can cause long-term disability, brain damage, and even death.
Common symptoms of stroke include numbness, confusion, difficulty seeing and walking, and severe headache with no known cause.
Types of strokes
There are 2 types of strokes: hemorrhagic and ischemic. The hemorrhagic type occurs when blood from an artery leaks into the brain while an ischemic type happens when blood to the brain is blocked by particles. The majority of strokes are ischemic.
In men, hypertension (high blood pressure) is a significant risk factor for stroke. Additional risk factors include low physical activity, high alcohol consumption, obesity, diabetes, and smoking.
Hypertension is also a significant risk factor for stroke in women. Depression, high blood pressure during pregnancy, and some birth control medicines are other risk factors.
Stroke treatment is optimal when the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within the first 3 hours of symptoms. The FAST (face, arms, speech, time) test is commonly performed to identify if someone is having a stroke.
You can reduce the likelihood of having a stroke by eating healthy, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol, not smoking, and controlling cholesterol and blood pressure.
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This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.