There are two main types of stroke:
Hemorrhagic Stroke: This happens when a blood vessel in your brain bursts or leaks. This causes blood to spill into the surrounding brain tissue, damaging cells and causing swelling.
Signs of a stroke can include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body), confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech, difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, sudden dizziness or loss of balance, or a severe headache with no known cause.
There are treatments that can be given if someone is having a stroke, but they are most effective if given right away. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the signs of a stroke and to call for medical help immediately if you think you or someone else might be having a stroke.
Preventing stroke often involves managing key risk factors, which include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle changes and medications can often help reduce these risk factors.
Syncope, often referred to as fainting or passing out, is a sudden and temporary loss of consciousness, usually due to a lack of blood flow to the brain.
Think of it like a computer that briefly shuts down and then reboots. The main part of the body that needs a steady supply of blood is your brain. If the blood supply drops, your brain reboots, causing you to lose consciousness for a short period. This can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Syncope often happens when your blood pressure drops suddenly, slowing down blood flow to the brain. It can occur in people of all ages and for various reasons, such as standing up too quickly, dehydration, being in a hot and crowded place, or even intense emotional stress.
There are several types of syncope, but one of the most common types is vasovagal syncope, which is often triggered by a response from your body to certain triggers like the sight of blood, physical distress, or sudden emotional stress. Your heart rate slows, and your blood vessels widen, causing blood to pool in your legs, thus reducing the blood flow to your brain leading to fainting.
While syncope can be alarming, it’s usually not harmful and doesn’t indicate serious health problems. However, if you or someone else experiences recurrent fainting spells, it’s essential to see a healthcare professional. In some cases, fainting could indicate a more serious condition like a heart disorder or neurological condition. It’s also possible to get injured during a fainting episode, so it’s always good to check in with a doctor after an episode of syncope.