What causes a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is significantly reduced or stopped. Without blood, your brain is deprived of oxygen, and brain cells quickly die. Your best chance for a full recovery is to get treatment within three hours of having a stroke.
What symptoms develop during a stroke?
Recognizing the signs of a stroke allows you to take quick action, call 911, and get essential treatment that can save your life.
Stroke symptoms include:
- Numbness or weakness on one side of your face, arm, or leg
- Difficulty speaking or understanding others
- Vision loss, blurry vision, or double vision in one eye
- Loss of balance or dizziness
- Severe headache without a known cause
The symptoms of a stroke appear very suddenly.
What are the different types of strokes?
There are three types of strokes:
- Hemorrhagic stroke - A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain ruptures.
- Ischemic stroke - This type of stroke is caused by an artery that’s blocked by a blood clot or fatty plaque.
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA) - TIAs last for a few minutes and don’t cause permanent brain damage. However, one-third of people who have a TIA eventually suffer a full-blown stroke.
How is a stroke treated?
Ventura Neuroscience Center provides comprehensive stroke treatment, from screening your risk for a stroke to rapid treatment during a stroke, and ongoing medical care afterward.
The treatment you receive for a stroke depends on the type:
- Ischemic stroke - If you get to the hospital within three hours, your provider can insert an intravenous (IV) line and give you medication that dissolves the clot. Otherwise, you will need a neurointerventional procedure. During this procedure, your provider guides a catheter through your blood vessels to the site of the clot in your brain. They can give you medication to dissolve the clot if the neurointerventional procedure is done within six hours after your stroke. If it’s too late for medication, they use a special device on the end of the catheter to remove the clot.
- Hemorrhagic stroke - If you have a hemorrhagic stroke, your provider performs surgery to stop the bleeding and to reduce pressure on the brain. When a brain aneurysm causes a stroke, they may do neurointerventional surgery to close the aneurysm.
- Transient ischemic attack - After a TIA, and after any type of stroke, you take anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications to prevent future attacks.