Symptoms of a stroke include arm weakness, facial drooping and difficulties with speech, according to the American Stroke Association. A person experiencing these symptoms should seek emergency medical assistance.
Other symptoms and signs of a possible stroke include a sudden, severe headache; impaired vision in one or both eyes; trouble understanding; and difficulty walking or maintaining balance, states the American Stroke Association. Numbness in the arms, legs or face may also occur during a stroke.
Stroke symptoms are similar to those of a transient ischemic attack, or TIA, but TIA symptoms typically go away within 10 to 20 minutes, as stated by WebMD. Since there is no way to differentiate between symptoms caused by a TIA and a stroke, patients should always get emergency medical help. Sometimes a TIA precedes a stroke.
Both TIAs and strokes block blood flow to the brain, as explained by WebMD. If the brain is deprived of blood flow for a long enough period of time, brain cells die, causing permanent brain damage.
Most strokes are caused by blood clots in the brain, WebMD reports. Strokes caused by brain bleeds, which include aneurysms, are much more deadly. Approximately 40 percent of massive bleeding strokes result in death within a month.