Are you confused between the difference of a heart attack and a heart stroke? To begin with, a stroke is primarily connected to the brain or the nervous system. A stroke is a serious form of brain attack wherein the vital blood flow and oxygen going towards the brain is cut off. It occurs when a blood vessel that feeds the brain becomes clogged or bursts.
Prominent Heart Stroke Symptoms
- Drooping of the facial portion (one side) or numbing feeling on one side of the face
- Weakness experienced in one arm
- Difficulty in speech or slurred speech
- Temporary vision loss or having dimming vision in one or both eyes
- Having a bad headache without any reason
- Losing balance while walking
- Above-mentioned symptoms are typical stroke-related ones, you should contact 911 or call a hospital ambulance service immediately.
Heart Stroke Causes
A stroke is brain-related. It causes some parts of the body, which are controlled by the brain, to stop functioning properly. Stroke is also known as 'cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or brain attack.
There are three types of stroke:
- a) Ischemic stroke
- b) Hemorrhagic stroke
- c) Transient Ischemic Attack (mini stroke)
Ischemic stroke can be caused when the arteries carrying blood to your brain become too narrow or blocked causing extremely reduced blood flow. Hemorrhagic stroke can be caused by bleeding disorders, severe head injury or trauma, medication for blood-thinning, and cerebral aneurysm.
People who are suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol issues, heart ailments such as irregular heart rhythms and atrial fibrillation and habitual smokers are at high risk.
Heart Stroke Treatment
The treatment procedures depend on the nature of the stroke. An ischemic stroke requires quick restoration of blood flow to the brain area. Doctors may give emergency treatment along with medications to the patient. Clot-bursting drug therapy has to be started within 4 to 5 hours of the stroke.
The patient may be given the following:
- Tissue plasminogen activator intravenous injections
- Endovascular procedures for emergency condition
- Medications that are fed directly into the brain with the help of a catheter
- Removal of the blood clot with the help of a stent retriever device
- Other procedures such as carotid endarterectomy and angioplasty can also be suggested by heart specialists
Hemorrhagic Stroke also requires emergency treatment to control the bleeding and reduce brain pressure. The patient may need surgical intervention to lessen any future risks. Stroke specialists or vascular neurologists may also suggest anti-platelet drugs or blood transfusion if needed.
Patients can expect the following treatment:
- Surgical repair of the blood vessel
- Surgical clipping via a tiny clamp that is placed at the bottom of the aneurysm
- Endovascular Coiling wherein a heart surgeon puts a catheter into the blood vessels via the groin to reach the brain using X-ray imaging
- Surgical arteriovenous malformation removal
- Stereotactic radiosurgery with the help of radiation beams
Apart from these medical treatments, you can prevent heart stroke by improving your lifestyle. This can be done by quitting cigarettes, controlling your blood pressure, having a healthy diet, watching your weight, and doing regular exercises. The prognosis and recovery period for patients who have suffered a heart stroke also depends upon the brain area that has been adversely affected.
Signs of having a Heart Stroke
- Numbness in one side of the face or arm area or leg area
- Sudden confusion in thoughts
- Trouble in communicating or speaking
- Blurred vision (one or both eyes)
- Difficulty in coordination or imbalanced movements
- Sudden painful headache with no relevant cause
You shouldn't wait more than five to seven minutes to call for professional medical help in case of a stroke. Some strokes are silent and more dangerous due to their lack of symptoms.
Similarities Between Heart Attack and Stroke
The main similarity between a heart attack and stroke is the blockage of blood flow (towards the heart region) during a heart attack and critical blood flow blockage (towards the brain) in case of a stroke
Difference between a heart stroke and a heart attack?
A heart attack can be caused by a blood clot, without the aid of oxygenated blood, the muscles in the heart begin to suffocate and die. On the other hand, a stroke is a brain attack. During a stroke, either the blood supply to the brain is cut off or a blood vessel bursts in the brain.
Is a stroke worse than a heart attack?
Medical experts feel that surviving a stroke is more difficult than surviving a heart attack. A stroke can cause permanent disability even if the person survives it. However, according to the recent mortality rates, heart attack is one of the main causes of death in America, while heart stroke is the 5th most killer disease in the US.
Can you get a heart attack and stroke at the same time?
Yes, plaques can be discovered in arteries that supply blood to the heart as well as the brain, and therefore it is possible to suffer from stroke and heart attack at the same time.
Can a heart attack cause a stroke?
Poor blood circulation can cause abnormal heartbeats, which is known as atrial fibrillation. This can increase stroke-risk. If the clot travels from the heart towards the brain region, then you can suffer from an ischemic stroke.