A stroke is definitely not a joking matter. Delaying calling for help just because “it might just pass on its own” is not really an option. And to prove that, here are some scary facts:
- during each minute of a stroke, the brain loses about 1.9 million brain cells,
- each hour of delaying stroke treatment costs your brain a rate of aging equivalent with three and a half years,
- the longer the treatment is delayed, for whatever reason, the higher the risk of memory loss, behavioral changes and lingering speech impediments.
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Although there are two kinds of stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic), the symptoms are almost the same. The ischemic stroke happens when blocked blood vessels reduce the blood flow to some region of the brain. The hemorrhagic stroke happens when a ruptured blood vessel leaks blood into the brain.
Remember: you need urgent help when you have a stroke. Do not linger, hoping that it will pass by itself. And to help you recognize the possible symptoms of a stroke, read below.
1. Seeing double
Unless you’ve recently consumed a considerable amount of alcohol, seeing double, blurred vision or loss of sight in one eye is usually one of the signs of a stroke.
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2. Numb arm or leg
Yes, your arm or leg can “fall asleep” if you’ve somehow compressed a nerve. But it should also go away in a few minutes, after you change position and massage it a bit. If that does not happen, call for help. Better safe than sorry.
3. Slurred speech
Some painkiller medications can sometimes cause slurred speech. But if you notice that you have slurred speech and it is not a side effect you’ve noticed before, seek help asap. You might be having a stroke.
Alcohol can usually make a person wobbly, but if you did not consume any and you suddenly start to stumble, can’t keep your balance or become dizzy, call for help immediately.
5. Losing focus
It sometimes happens to everybody to forget what they were going to say or to not find the right word for something. But if this happens repeatedly, or if you are suddenly not able to focus your thoughts or to express yourself coherently, there is a good chance you are having a stroke. It might even happen that you don’t notice it, but the ones around you do. It is time to get help.
6. Blinding headache
If you are prone to migraines, a blinding headache might just be that – a migraine. But because the neurological symptoms of a stroke and a migraine are the same, you might just want to leave the diagnostic to a professional, especially if you don’t usually get migraines.
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