Types of Stroke, Risk Factors, and Stroke Symptoms
It is important to know which type of stroke you have experienced because medical treatment is different. How do you know? Before starting treatment, your physician will perform an imaging test such as a CAT Scan or MRI to correctly diagnose your CVA. It is important to restore blood flow with an ischemic stroke, but for a hemorrhagic stroke, the goal is to control brain bleeding.
You may have heard other terms for stroke such as lacunar infarct, thrombotic infarct, embolic infarct, diabetic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage, and so on. These all fall within the two types of stroke identified above, and you can find more information about these specific types of hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes on their respective webpages.
The following are risk factors for stroke:
Age - stroke risk increases tenfold for each decade of life after age 55
Hereditary - risk increases if immediate family members or grandparents had a stroke
Sex - more men have strokes than women
Prior stroke, TIA, or heart attack
High blood pressure - causes artery walls to weaken
Diabetes mellitus - high blood sugar can damage the heart and blood vessels which can lead to a heart attack or stroke
Carotid or Artery Disease
Other Heart Disease
Sickle Cell Anemia
Stroke Prevention - To help prevent stroke, take the following steps:
To find out more about stroke prevention and the above topics, click here.
How Do I Know if I'm Having a Stroke?
Some common stroke symptoms or signs of a stroke include the following:
Weakness - One may discover that one side of their body is noticeably weaker. Various musculature may be affected including the face, arms, trunk and legs. This weakness may present as inability to lift the arm, inability to smile on one side of the face, inability to move the leg or walk, or inability to maintain sitting balance.
Numbness - One may notice numbness and tingling, particularly on one side of the body.
Confusion - This may present as memory problems, inability to understand or follow directions, or inability to speak coherently.
Vision Problems - One may have trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
Slurred Speech - If mouth musculature becomes weakened, one may have difficulty talking and present with slurred speech.
Trouble Walking - Stumbling, falling, inability to stand, or dragging one leg can all be stroke symptoms.
Loss of Balance - Balance problems may appear in sitting or standing. One may begin leaning to one side or not be able to stand or even sit up.
Loss of Coordination - Movements may become jerky or uncoordinated.
Severe Headache - Some stroke victims experience headache. It is important to seek medical attention quickly if you have an extremely severe headache that comes on suddenly.
If you experience the above symptoms, especially in combination, seek medical attention immediately. Heeding the warning signs of stroke and seeking medical assistance can help minimize brain damage from both types of stroke.