A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted, or when a vessel leaks blood in or around the brain. Damage to the brain begins to take place the moment a stroke begins, so remaining aware of the potential symptoms and hazards of a stroke are crucial.
The signs of an oncoming stroke may include numbness or weakness in the face, limbs, or on one side of the body, confusion, lack of cognitive skills, obscured vision, trouble walking or maintaining balance and a severe headache accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
Fast treatment can put an end to a stroke, but a clot-busting medication must be administered within three hours of a stroke’s onset to potentially prevent debilitating effects. Today, quick treatment can stop most strokes as they're occurring. If you get to the hospital fast, you may be able to walk out of it later with little or no disability.
Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, smoking, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and a personal or family history.