A stroke occurs when a part of the brain is damaged as a result of interrupted or poor blood flow to the brain. This may occur when an artery going to the brain gets clogged or closes off and that part of the brain is without blood for too long. Also, if an artery breaks open and starts bleeding into or around the brain. The affects of a stroke vary according to the part of the brain affected and how quickly treatment is received.
Signs to look for when a stroke is suspected:
Balance - Sudden loss of balance or coordination.
Eyes - Sudden blurred or double vision or sudden, persistent vision trouble.
Face - Uneven or drooping on one side.
Arm - Weakness or numbness in one or both arms; unable to hold arm(s) out.
Speech - Trouble speaking; strange sounding speech.
Time - Call 911 quickly. The sooner treatment is received the better the chances of recovery.
TIA - (transient ischemic attack) is like a stroke but does not damage the brain. This can happen when an artery in the brain gets clogged or closes off and then reopens on its own; or a blood clot forms and then moves away or dissolves.