What You Should Know About Undergoing a Stroke
A stroke can cause dramatic changes to your life, including, in severe cases, the possibility of death. Accordingly, you should be informed about what happens when you have a stroke, so you and your family can be prepared. Fortunately, the neurologists at San Jose Pacific Neurology Center in San Jose, CA, offer a wide variety of medical services, including stroke treatment to help you.
You may be having a stroke if you experience:
- Sudden numbness in your arm, leg, or face, typically on one side of your body
- Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision, typically in one eye
- Difficulty speaking or understanding others
- A sudden severe headache
- Difficulty walking, sudden dizziness, or loss of balance
- Feelings of confusion, fainting, or nausea
There are different types of strokes, which have different treatments. An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot blocks blood flow to your brain. Ischemic strokes make up 87% of all strokes. Treatment for an ischemic stroke involves removing or breaking up the clot to free up blood flow. This can be accomplished by:
- Intravenous application of Alteplase medication to dissolve the clot and improve blood flow; this treatment is effective in the early stages of a stroke.
- Endovascular or mechanical treatment to remove the clot and free up blood flow; ideally, this treatment should be performed within 6 hours of acute symptoms, but it can still be effective within 24 hours of the first symptoms.
- Combination therapy, which includes removal of the clot and administration of Alteplase for eligible patients.
A second type of stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs from a blood vessel rupturing within your brain. This type of stroke can happen as a result of chronic, uncontrolled high blood pressure, an aneurysm, or abnormal blood vessels. The goal of treatment is to stop the bleeding in your brain, and this can be accomplished by:
- Inserting a catheter tube into an arm or leg artery and guided up into your brain. The catheter contains a camera at one end which allows your doctor to see the problem, and insert a coil or other device to prevent hemorrhage.
- Surgical treatment to treat an aneurysm