After about 4 minutes without blood and oxygen, brain cells become damaged and may die. The body tries to restore blood and oxygen to the cells by enlarging other blood vessels (arteries) near the area.
You should consider these symptoms warning signs and consult your health care provider:
Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body.
Abrupt loss of vision, strength, coordination, sensation, speech, or the ability to understand speech. These symptoms may become worse over time.
Sudden dimness of vision, especially in one eye.
Sudden loss of balance, possibly accompanied by vomiting, nausea, fever, hiccups, or trouble with swallowing.
Sudden and severe...
If blood supply isn't restored, permanent damage usually occurs. The body parts controlled by those damaged cells cannot function.
This loss of function may be mild or severe. It may be temporary or permanent. It depends on where and how much of the brain is damaged and how fast the blood supply can be returned to the affected cells. Life-threatening complications may also occur. This is why it's important to get treatment as soon as possible.
Recovery depends on the location and amount of brain damage caused by the stroke, the ability of other healthy areas of the brain to take over for the damaged areas, and rehabilitation. In general, the less damage there is to the brain tissue, the less disability results and the greater the chances of a successful recovery.
Stroke is the most common nervous-system-related cause of physical disability. Of people who survive a stroke, half will still have some disability 6 months after the stroke.
You have the greatest chance of regaining your abilities during the first few months after a stroke. Regaining some abilities, such as speech, comes slowly, if at all. About half of all people who have a stroke will have some long-term problems with talking, understanding, and decision-making. They also may have changes in behavior that affect their relationships with family and friends.
After a stroke, you (or a caregiver) may also notice: