San Francisco Neurology and Sleep Center

Sleep Lab located in Chinatown, San Francisco, CA

In the United States, stroke is one of the leading causes of both disability and death. A stroke occurs when a blockage or rupture keeps oxygen and nutrients in the blood from reaching the brain. Strokes require immediate medical care to prevent as much permanent brain damage as possible. In Chinatown, San Francisco, Joy Meng, MD, and the team at San Francisco Neurology and Sleep Center help stroke patients and families navigate this complicated disease. Learn more by calling the clinic today.

Stroke Q & A

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a medical event in which the blood going to your brain is reduced or stopped. When this happens, your brain tissue doesn’t get enough oxygen or nutrients, and brain cells begin dying. 

There are a few different types of strokes. Ischemic strokes occur when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Nearly 80% of strokes are ischemic. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and blood can no longer flow to the brain through that blood vessel. 

Some people suffer mini-strokes, or transient ischemic attacks, which are temporary blockages caused by blood clots. No matter the type of stroke, immediate medical care is crucial to prevent further brain damage. 

What are the signs of a stroke?

Familiarizing yourself with the warning signs of a stroke can help you or a loved one get prompt care to prevent death or severe disability. You should call 911 immediately if you notice:

  • Sudden numb or weak feelings in face or limbs
  • Sudden dizziness or loss of balance
  • Sudden confusion or difficulty speaking
  • Sudden vision problems
  • Severe headache

These symptoms can be the result of a blockage in the brain, or stroke. If treatment is started within three hours of the stroke occurring, the permanent effects of the blockage can be reduced or even reversed. 

Am I at risk for stroke?

Strokes are serious medical conditions that can lead to significant disability, like paralysis, memory loss, and behavioral changes. However, many risk factors for stroke can be controlled and even eliminated, helping you stay as healthy as possible. 

The most common risk factors for stroke are:

  • Being over age 55
  • Being male
  • Being African American
  • Having chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease
  • Family history of stroke
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Drug use
  • Smoking

How are strokes treated?

Strokes require immediate medical care. If you or a loved one has suffered a stroke, the doctors diagnose the type of stroke taking place through a physical exam and imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan. Emergency treatment is focused on restoring blood flow to the brain to stop cells from dying.

After emergency care, rehabilitation helps restore function to your brain and body. Treatment varies depending on the part of your brain affected by the stroke, but care often includes:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech pathology
  • Neurological care
  • Psychological care

If you or a loved one shows signs of stroke, seek emergency care immediately. For recovery and rehabilitation, turn to San Francisco Neurology and Sleep Center, Inc. Contact the clinic by phone or online today to find out more.