A stroke occurs when part of your brain is unable to get the blood and oxygen it needs. It can be a scary time for families and loved ones. Oftentimes, people don’t understand what happens to them during a stroke. Depending on what type of stroke a person has, different things are likely to happen.
Transient Ischemic Attack
During a transient ischemic attack (TIA), individuals will often show many of the symptoms of a stroke. They may have slurring speech, drooping facial muscles, or lose the use of 1 side of the body. However, after a short period of time, the effects of a transient ischemic attack will disappear.
During a TIA, a blood clot forms in the person’s brain, causing temporary arousal of symptoms. However, the blood clot quickly becomes unstuck, leading to a relief of symptoms. These are frequently known as “mini-strokes.” They may warn of a more significant stroke coming.
An ischemic stroke is when the presence of a blood clot causes loss of blood flow to the part of a brain. During an ischemic stroke, the blockage causes blood loss to that particular area which ultimately leads to the death of brain tissue.
Unlike a TIA, an ischemic stroke leads to more permanent or pervasive symptoms. Individuals who undergo an ischemic stroke may spend days, weeks, or months in therapy to regain their abilities. They may be unable to regain those abilities at all.
A hemorrhagic stroke is similar to an ischemic stroke as it causes permanent or pervasive damage. However, the cause of a hemorrhagic stroke is different.
During a hemorrhagic stroke, a blood vessel or brain breaks or ruptures, causing a brain bleed. As a result of the damage, blood is able to leak into the surrounding blood tissue.
The hemorrhage stops blood from getting to essential parts of the brain past the break. This may lead to brain tissue’s permanent and irreversible death beyond the bleed, causing speech, movement, or even cognition changes. Through treatment, a person may be able to regain functioning in one or all of these areas. Others will have permanent symptoms.