An ischemic stroke happens when a vessel supplying blood to the brain becomes blocked. It can happen for a variety of reasons. For example, fatty deposits in arteries (atherosclerosis) can cause blood clots to form. Sometimes a blood clot forms in the heart from an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. It then travels to a place where it blocks an artery supplying the brain.
A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain. This can also happen for a variety of reasons.
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a mini stroke from a temporary blockage. Although a TIA doesnt cause permanent brain damage, it may cause stroke warning signs, which may last minutes or even hours. Think of this as a warning sign you shouldnt ignore.
Stroke Warning Signs
Sometimes symptoms of stroke develop gradually. But if you are having a stroke, you are more likely to have one or more sudden warning signs like these:
- Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
- Confusion or trouble understanding other people
- Trouble speaking
- Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
- Trouble walking or staying balanced or coordinated
- Severe headache that comes on for no known reason