Seek medical assistance immediately by calling 911 if you think you have had a stroke or are having a stroke, advises Mayo Clinic. Obtain emergency medical help even if the symptoms fluctuate or disappear. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the likelihood that brain damage and disability occur.
Symptoms that indicate possible stroke include difficulty in speaking or understanding what people say; numbness, weakness or paralysis of the face or an arm or leg; blurred or dimmed vision in one or both eyes; sudden, extremely painful headache along with possible dizziness or vomiting; and loss of balance or coordination, states Mayo Clinic. If you have stroke symptoms, emergency medical personnel attempt to evaluate if your symptoms are due to stroke or some other medical problem, such as a brain tumor or a reaction to drugs. You may undergo blood tests, imaging tests, an angiogram and an echocardiogram. These tests help doctors determine what type of stroke you have had and the area of the brain it has affected.
Depending on the type of stroke you have suffered, you may receive oral or intravenous drugs to dissolve blood clots, lower blood pressure, thin the blood, alleviate pressure in the brain or prevent seizures, explains Mayo Clinic. The sooner you receive these medications, the better your chances of avoiding long-term or fatal effects due to the stroke. You may also undergo one or more surgical procedures to repair blood vessels, remove plaque from arteries, expand narrowed arteries, or to treat or remove an aneurysm.