There are 3 types of stroke: ischemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischemic attack.
And while most people know the 4 hallmark symptoms of stroke (if you don’t, you soon will!), they don’t know the unusual ones.
So today we’re discussing everything you need to know about the 3 different types of stroke and symptoms.
Let’s get straight to it.
3 Types of Stroke
A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is compromise, depriving brain cells of oxygen.
The way that the blood was compromised determines the type of stroke.
1. Ischemic Stroke
An ischemic stroke happens when an artery in the brain becomes clogged by a blood clot.
An example condition that increase your chances of ischemic stroke is atherosclerosis, where plaque builds up on the arterial walls.
As arteries grow more narrow, the risk of a blood clot getting stuck becomes higher.
2. Hemorrhagic Stroke
A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain bursts, causing a brain bleed.
An example condition that increases risk of hemorrhagic stroke is high blood pressure, where the extra pressure on the arterial walls increases the chance of rupture.
3. Transient Ischemic Attack (“Mini Stroke”)
There’s a third type of stroke that’s much less severe: a transient ischemic attack, or TIA or “mini stroke.”
A TIA is a type of ischemic stroke where a blood clot gets caught in an artery in the brain.
This type of stroke is also called a “mini stroke” because the clot resolves itself and leads to no permanent damage.
However, it’s still a medical emergency and deserves emergency medical attention.
Symptoms for Different Types of Stroke
Learning how to identify the symptoms of a stroke is critical for helping someone get fast treatment.
Since brain cells die while a stroke is happening, time is brain! Fast treatment could save a life.
Here are common and not-so-common symptoms of stroke:
FAST Acronym to Identify a Stroke
There are 3 hallmark symptoms that most people experience when they have a stroke. These can happen with either ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes.
You can remember them easily by using the FAST acronym from the National Stroke Association:
F – Face. If half their face droops, it might be a stroke.
A – Arms. If they try to raise their arms and one drifts downward, it might be a stroke.
S – Speech. If they slur their speech or talk gibberish, it might be a stroke.
T – Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Time is brain!
These are the hallmark symptoms of stroke, and they deserve immediate medical attention!
5 Other Symptoms for Rare Types of Stroke
These are not the only symptoms, though.
Here are a few more indications that someone might be having a stroke:
When someone experiences sudden dizziness, it might be a stroke. For example, a pontine stroke often results in dizziness because the pons (located in the brain stem) controls your sense of equilibrium. If the pons becomes damaged by stroke, your sense of balance can get thrown off.
Vertigo can be a serious warning sign of a stroke. In fact, about 3% of all people admitted to the emergency room for vertigo are actually experiencing a cerebellar stroke. That’s because the cerebellum also contributes to your sense of balance.
3. Weakness on Both Sides of the Body
Stroke usually happens in one side of the brain. Since each hemisphere of the brain controls the opposite side of the body, a stroke usually results in weakness on one side of the body. However, some strokes, like brain stem stroke, result in weakness on both sides of the body.
4. Vision Problems
If your vision takes a sharp turn for the worse, it could be a stroke. If the vision center of the brain becomes damaged by stroke, it can result in sudden blurred or double vision.
Most headaches are benign, but sometimes a rapid, knife-like headache is actually a symptom of a stroke. Some signs that a headache could be a stroke are: if it’s the worst headache of your life, if it came on rapidly, or if it’s accompanied by other strange symptoms like vertigo.
If anyone experiences any of these symptoms, make sure they get immediate medical attention and insist on a CT or MRI scan.
Because these are not hallmark symptoms of a stroke, not every doctor will check the brain for possible causes. It’s up to you to help spread awareness.
Treatment for Stroke
Now you’re well-educated about the 3 different types of stroke and symptoms; but we can’t leave you hanging without guiding you to some great advice about treatment!
Here are our best guides for stroke treatment:
- 13 best stroke treatments
- Why repetition is the best treatment for stroke
- 5 types of surgery after stroke for treatment and prevention
If you continue with these articles, you will have a robust understanding of stroke recovery.
Summary of the Types of Stroke and Symptoms
And there you have it!
To sum it all up, there are 3 types of stroke: ischemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischemic attack.
Some of the hallmark symptoms are weakness in one arm, slurred speech, and facial drooping on half of the face.
Other unusual symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vertigo, vision problems, and headache.
A good rule of thumb is that if any unusual symptoms happen suddenly, it could be a stroke and emergency medical attention is needed as fast as possible.
Time is brain!