Knowing the early five common signs of stroke can help you receive the best treatment before it becomes serious or even life threatening . So let's get started with a closer look at what stroke is first.
Stroke or cerebrovascular accident occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted or cut off completely due to lack of blood flow, blockage, or a brain hemorrhage. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain by blood vessels called arteries. Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through an artery because the artery is blocked (ischaemic stroke) or bursts (haemorrhagic stroke).
When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die. As a result, the brains stops functioning normally and often times the muscles in the body, the reflexes, and the senses are all affected.
The signs of a stroke depend on the side of the brain that’s affected, the part of the brain affected, and how severely the brain is injured.
Therefore, each person may have different stroke warning signs. And here are 5 common signs of stroke that you should to know.
1. Speaking problems. The first common sign of stroke is speaking problems or trouble with speaking and understanding. You may experience confusion, slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech. For each minute a stroke goes untreated and blood flow to the brain continues to be blocked, a person loses about 1.9 million neurons. This could mean that a person’s speech, movement, memory, and so much more can be affected. Why does this happen? A stroke may cause you to have less control over the way the muscles in your mouth and throat move, making it difficult for you to talk clearly (dysarthria), swallow or eat (dysphagia).
You also may have difficulty with language (aphasia) including speaking or understanding speech, reading or writing. If a person is having difficulty talking or understanding it could mean that blood is not getting to the area of the brain that controls language. One test that you can do at home: Try to repeat the phrase. "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". Are you slurring words, using the wrong words, or are unable to speak? If you suddenly has difficulty speaking or forming intelligent sentences, it can indicate that you have a stroke.
2. Facial paralysis. The second common signs of stroke is facial paralysis Often times a stroke inflicts the facial muscles where one side of the face droops or goes totally numb so the face appears non-symmetrical when they try to talk or smile. This is a common symptom that's easy for other people to notice. When you suspect someone if having a stroke, you should ask the person to smile. This is a quick way to identify if they're having a stroke, and if facial paralysis occurs, get them emergency medical attention immediately. Even if the non-symmetrical smile or speech difficulty isn't from a stroke, it's still a sign that something serious is wrong. Emergency medical personnel will ask you to smile or show your teeth. If one side of your face sags or doesn't move, that could mean you're having a stroke. This symptom is caused by either lack of oxygen to the facial nerve in the brain, or bleeding that puts pressure on nerves and tissues.
3. Vision problems. The other common sign of stroke is trouble with seeing in one or both eyes or vision problems. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double. Stroke can diminish sight in one or both eyes or cause double vision. It can also lessen a person's ability to make sense of basic visual cues like recognizing a face or familiar objects or being unable to differentiate between a mirror image and the object being reflected. They could experience double vision, blurred vision, or complete loss of vision. Many people who have had a stroke experience vision problems afterwards, especially if the stroke was on the right side of the brain. You could have blind spots or trouble focusing because of the cells that are destroyed in the visual cortex.
While a high amount of stroke survivors have impaired vision, medical advances have increased the chance of seeing well enough. Intense treatment involving retraining the brain has helped many survivors get some or most of their vision back.
4. Loss of balance. The fourth common sign of stroke is loss of balance. You may stumble or experience sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination. You may become paralyzed on one side of your body, or lose control of certain muscles such as those on one side of your face or one arm. Loss of coordination and balance or difficulty walking can signal that a stroke has occurred in the part of the brain where voluntary muscle coordination is controlled.
While loss of balance is a signs of a stroke, you can also experience it after a stroke. You may continue to feel dizzy and insecure in your ability to walk without stumbling or falling. You are more likely to experience balance problems if the stroke affected the left side of your body. Some stroke survivors may only feel mild balance issues, while others may have severe loss of balance, impacting their quality of life. Physical therapy may help you return to activities hampered by paralysis, such as walking and eating.
5. Sudden headache. The last common sign of stroke is sudden headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness may indicate you're having a stroke. Many people who have had strokes experience some memory loss.
Others may have difficulty thinking, making judgments, reasoning and understanding concepts. One study found that people who experienced headache with the onset of stroke tended to be younger and have a history of migraine. A painful headache with no known cause may signal a stroke, most often hemorrhagic stroke.
Are you worried that you or someone you know, may have stroke? Having some of the signs of stroke doesn't mean you definitely have the condition, but you should always contact your doctor, just to make sure. The earlier you can identify you're having a stroke, the better your chances are at full recovery. The longer you're having a stroke without treatment and attention from a medical team the more damage it can cause on your brain. It can also increase your chances of permanent damage resulting in severe disabilities.
While it may seem like a small issue, it’s never a bad idea to get checked out if there's cause for concern. Ruling out a stroke or getting early treatment could save your life.