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What are The Types of Stroke?

A stroke occurs when something blocks the blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. It can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death. There are several types of stroke that you should be aware of to respond immediately to medical emergencies.

animated old man holding chest due to stroke

The warning signs of stroke are recognized through the FAST method. Call 911 if you spot these:

  • Face loose.  One side of the face sags or is numb which is determined by an uneven smile.
  • Arm weakness. One arm is weak or numb and the other arm drifts downward when you try to raise both arms.
  • Speech difficulty.  Speech is slurred or the patient is unable to speak or hard to understand.
  • Time to call 911. If you or a patient have any of these signs, even if they subside, call 911 and get to a hospital immediately.

What are the Types of Stroke?

1. Ischemic stroke

This typically happens when a blood vessel supplying blood to your brain gets blocked by a blood clot. One of the causes of this condition is the buildup of unhealthy cholesterol that collects and narrows the arteries. Symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, or on one side of the body
  • Double vision or vision loss
  • Confusion and slurred speech
  • Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or trouble walking

Typical causes include:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart attack
  • Problem with your heart valves caused by high cholesterol
  • Injury to blood vessels in your neck
  • Blood clotting problem
migraine with aura

2. Hemorrhagic stroke

This happens when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures. The leaked blood puts too much pressure on brain cells, which damages them. The common causes and risk factors are:

  • You are over 65 years old
  • Have high cholesterol or uncontrolled diabetes
  • Obesity or a history of stroke in the past
  • Eating unhealthy foods

Symptoms of this condition are:

  • Intense headache 
  • Vision problems
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or throwing up
  • Passing out

3. Transient ischemic attack.

This is known as a mini-stroke. TIA is caused by a temporary blockage in blood flow to your brain. The symptoms usually last for just a few minutes or may go away in 24 hours.  Symptoms include:

The causes and risk factors of TIA are the same as in an ischemic stroke. A TIA can sometimes be a warning sign that you have an attack soon. Seek immediate help or go to the nearest medical facility for emergency response.

smoking cigarettes

4. Brain stem stroke

This can affect both sides of the body. This may occur without the hallmark sign of weakness on one side of the body. Causes and risk factors include:

Symptoms are as follows:

  • Locked in syndrome
  • Vertigo, loss of balance, and dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Double vision
  • Passing out
  • Slurred speech
  • The trouble with blood pressure and breathing

5. Cryptogenic stroke

This is also known as a stroke of unknown cause. The possible causes or risk factors are:

  • Irregular heartbeat caused by high cholesterol
  • Heart structure problem
  • Hardening of the arteries
  • Blood clotting disorder

Symptoms are:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Thumping or pounding heartbeat
  • Racing or pounding heart rhythm
  • Chest discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting

Most of the causes and risk factors of this condition are high cholesterol levels. If your doctor recommends maintenance medications, ensure that you take your prescriptions every day to reduce your risk of an attack. A typical prescription drug to maintain your cholesterol level is Lovastatin. It works by lowering the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood and treating other conditions as determined by your doctor. 

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