Can you recognize the warning signs of a stroke when you experience or witness them happening? Being able to identify these indicators can help you get the prompt medical attention needed before the situation gets worse.
A stroke is a sudden interruption in the brain’s blood supply that leads to temporary or permanent dysfunction of the nearby senses or brain function itself. Stroke can strike anyone at any time and the brain damages may range from mild to severe. But would you wait for it to occur and bring on irrevocable harm? Warning signs of a stroke usually appear seven days before the attack. At this time, urgent treatment is needed to correct the clots or narrowing in the blood vessels that causes the blockage.
Transient Ischemic Stroke (TIA)
Before a major stroke, many individuals usually experience mild stroke attacks called TIA or Transient Ischemic Stroke. This is not really a stroke attack but early warning signs of a stroke that produce the same stroke symptoms, the effects of which are not long lasting – usually appears within a few hours then disappear. Because body functions go back to normal within hours, most individuals take this event for granted, which is not good since the underlying cause may still be present and may cause a more serious or major stroke. Ten percent of individuals who experience TIA eventually suffer from major stroke.
Symptoms of Transient Ischemic Stroke
• Numbness or weakening in one part of the face, leg or arm
• Trouble speaking and understanding words
• Blurred vision in either one or both eyes
• Abrupt changes in headache patterns with unknown reasons
• Difficulty in swallowing
• Loss of balance and difficulty in walking
Warning Signs of a Stroke
For attacks that didn’t go through mild stroke, physicians may identify the following common warning signs of a stroke:
• Sudden numbness. This numbness is oftentimes felt at one side of the body and is usually felt in the arms, face and legs.
• Communication problems such as sudden confusion, difficulty in understanding and trouble speaking.
• Sudden paralysis on one side of the body or on the face or limbs.
• Vision problems such as blurring and trouble seeing in either one or both eyes.
• Motility problems, dizziness, muscle control problems, and loss of balance resulting in walking difficulties.
• Severe headache that has no known cause or reason.
Less common signs of stroke are:
• Blacking out (for severe cases of stroke) which sometimes leads to convulsions or coma
• Fever, nausea, and vomiting
It’s important to pay attention to the changes you feel in your body. Take note of the time when the first stroke symptoms appear. If tPA or tissue plasminogen activator is given within three hours of the onset, it can reduce the long-term damages or disability for most common stroke types.
The warning signs of a stroke may occur alone or in combination. These warning signs may indicate blood flow problems and should not be ignored. If you suspect yourself or someone showing the above mentioned symptoms, do the simple test, “FAST TEST”. Check for F-acial weakness, A-rm weakness, S-peech difficulty, and if the answers are yes, then it’s T-ime to act fast and call the nearest emergency department of the hospital.