A stroke can be a very serious problem, and doing nothing about it can make it worse. The longer it takes before medical care is sought the more permanent damage it can cause. Many people do not know what symptoms to look for when a stroke occurs, but they should.
A stroke occurs when blood is not able to get to parts of the brain. This can occur if a clot blocks a blood vessel partially or completely, or if a swollen blood vessel bursts – an aneurysm. When it occurs, the brain is damaged, and the individual suffering the stroke may not realize it.
Four things to look for when a stroke occurs:
1. The Face Is Drooping on One Side
Because a stroke will usually only affect one side of the brain, it sometimes will only affect one part of the body – oftentimes the face. The muscles on one side of the face will droop, or feel numb. You can ask the individual to smile to determine if it is drooping, if it is not already visible.
When a stroke occurs, this drooping effect may be permanent. Some people, however, may recover from it.
2. Difficulty with Speech or Understanding
Someone who has had a stroke will often have some difficulty with their speech – if they can talk at all. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke indicates that someone with a stroke may be difficult to understand, or they may not be able to understand what someone else is saying to them. The speech problems may be caused by their difficulty in moving the muscles necessary for speech, or from an inability to even use words. Speech therapy can often help someone who has had a stroke, but not always.
3. Weakness in an Arm or Leg
During a stroke, people commonly experience weakness or numbness in one arm or leg, or possibly in both. ABCNews reveals that one way to tell is to hold the arms (if the weakness is in the arm) straight out with palms up for 10 seconds. If one of them drifts downward, you have muscle weakness. If it is in a leg, then lift them individually.
4. Vision Problems That Come on Suddenly
Another stroke symptom is sudden problems with vision. The individual may have vision loss in one eye, have double vision, or vision that is blurred. It is even possible to completely lose vision. Because some of the cells in the eye may be destroyed, it may result in permanent limited vision, but advances are being made to help restore some vision in some cases.
Whenever someone suffers from a stroke, it is very important that medical care be given as quickly as possible. Without it, the damage and symptoms of the stroke may become permanent. There is medication that can be given to stroke victims to reduce the symptoms, but it must be given in less than three hours after the stroke, and time will be needed to make the analysis. With the medication being given on time, they are more likely to be restored to near pre-stroke condition.