Also known as a “brain attack,” a stroke may seem like a sudden occurrence that comes on as quickly as a lightning strike.
In reality, there is no set timeframe for strokes — some can last just minutes, while others can linger for hours or even days.
The faster your stroke is treated, the better your chances of survival, so it’s important to understand the symptoms of different types of strokes.
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How Long Do Stroke Symptoms Last?
An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes weak and bursts open, causing blood to leak into the brain.
Both of these types of strokes can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the part of the brain affected, including:
- Sudden weakness
- Sudden, severe headache
- Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, usually only on one side of the body
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Difficulty seeing out of one or both eyes
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble walking
The severity and duration of stroke symptoms can vary from person to person. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or in someone else, seek medical attention immediately. Medication and surgical interventions can help treat stroke and increase the odds of survival and recovery.
What Is a ‘Mini-Stroke?’
Also known as a “mini-stroke,” a transient ischemic attack (TIA) has the same or similar symptoms as a full-blown stroke. The difference is that a TIA usually lasts just a few minutes and doesn’t always cause the same lasting impairments as a major stroke.
It is critical, however, to seek help for TIAs, too, because they are often warning signs that you could experience a serious, more severe stroke in the future.
To learn more about stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, contact the UPMC Stroke Institute to schedule an appointment or ask a question at 412-232-8840.
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A $21 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates more than 90,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 3.8 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.4 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid more than $500 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial, and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to UPMC.com.