A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted. When the brain lacks sufficient blood flow for a long enough period of time, brain damage or even death can result. Immediate medical attention and early treatment are critical to help minimize damage to brain tissue and improve the outcome.

There are two major types of strokes: ischemic and hemorrhagic.  Ischemic stroke is the most common type, occurring when a blood clot blocks arteries and cuts off blood flow. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in part of the brain becomes weak and bursts open, causing blood to leak into the brain.

At the first sign of stroke, patients should seek medical care immediately. Symptoms of a stroke vary, but typically occur suddenly and include:

  • Weakness, tingling or numbness in a limb
  • Partial loss of vision
  • Inability to move a limb
  • Double vision, vertigo or loss of balance
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Memory loss
  • Drowsiness or loss of consciousness
  • Uncontrollable eye movements

High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for strokes. Working closely with your doctor and making lifestyle changes can help decrease the risk of stroke including:

  • Weight loss
  • Quitting smoking
  • Exercise
  • Cholesterol and blood pressure management
  • Reducing alcohol intake

If you’ve had a stroke or are experiencing symptoms, contact Dr. Helmy or visit one of our Los Angeles area offices today.