Understanding The Difference Between A Brain Haemorrhage And Stroke

brain haemorrhage

Understanding The Difference Between A Brain Haemorrhage And Stroke

In many cases, the terms stroke and brain haemorrhage may sound similar and may seem to be used interchangeably, but there is a major difference between the two.

Brain haemorrhage is a type of stroke that is caused when an artery in the brain bursts, causing internal bleeding. When a brain artery bursts, it leads to bleeding in the local area. As a result, the brain cells in the area cease to function, or, as is otherwise known, die.

The term haemorrhage means blood that gushes forward. Brain haemorrhage is a condition in which there is a sudden gush of blood in the blood tissues that leads to brain damage.

A stroke happens when there is some disruption in the level of blood that goes to your brain. As a result, your brain does not get the required nutrients and oxygen, and the brain cells in the area die.

In both the cases, of a brain haemorrhage as well as in the case of a stroke, the burst that leads to the condition happens very suddenly and there are rarely any warning signs. The symptoms of both the conditions do vary. Also, once a person suffers from a stroke or a brain haemorrhage, the type of emergency treatment will also depend on which condition the person suffered from. No matter what the condition, it is important to take immediate action in case of any of these two medical emergencies.

Symptoms Of Stroke

Symptoms Of Brain Haemorrhage

1) A very sharp headache that comes on suddenly 1) A sharp headache
2) A sudden feeling of numbness or a tingling sensation on only one side of the face or the body 2) A feeling of numbness in one or both the arms or legs
3) A sudden feeling of weakness in the arms or the leg 3) A sudden feeling of weakness in one or both the limbs
4) Having sudden difficulty in coordination or balancing 4) Having problems with memory
5) Problems with vision, suddenly seeing blurry or not able to see at all 5) Problems with vision, suddenly seeing blurry or not able to see
6) Feeling confused 6) Having problems with digestion
7) Feeling dizzy 7) Feeling nauseous or vomiting

In the case of a stroke, not all of the above signs and symptoms may be present at once. However, it is important to get in touch with a medical team immediately if you suspect any of the above mentioned symptoms yourself, or see them in your loved one.

In case of a brain haemorrhage, the symptoms will not be present till the brain haemorrhage has actually happened. Once it does, the patient will suffer from sudden and severe headache. The person may also start to experience pain and discomfort in the stomach and start vomiting. In some cases, the patient may suddenly feel very tired and may even slip into a coma.

Here are some of the factors that could put you at risk of a brain haemorrhage or a stroke:

  • Very High Blood Pressure Or Hypertension

    In case you suffer from very high blood pressure or high levels of hypertension, you will be at a higher risk of a brain haemorrhage or a stroke.

  • Smoking

    If you are a regular smoker, it will put you at a high risk of suffering from a stroke or a brain haemorrhage. Smoking causes considerable damage to your blood vessels as well as to your overall health.

  • Previous History Or Family History

    If you have ever had a stroke or a heart attack, you will be more at risk of suffering a cerebrovascular issue. If you have had a brain haemorrhage in the past, you are also at risk of having it again. Similarly, if there is a family history of brain haemorrhage or stroke on either side of your family, you are automatically at a higher risk for suffering from the same.

  • Women At Higher Risk

    Women have a slightly higher chance of suffering from a brain haemorrhage or a stroke as compared to men.

  • Age

    As you grow older, you are at a higher chance of suffering from a stroke or a brain haemorrhage.

A brain haemorrhage mostly takes place when there is some form of damage to the arteries in the brain. This usually happens when the person suffers from a head trauma, has some ongoing health problem, or is suffering from some or the other type of vascular problem since birth.

A cause happens when the artery that carries blood to the brain or the artery in the brain gets blocked. This leads to an ischemic stroke. The other cause is when there is any bleeding in or around the brain and an artery bursts. This leads to a haemorrhagic stroke.

Here is a look at some of the most common causes that could lead to a brain haemorrhage or a stroke.

Causes Of Brain Haemorrhage

Here are some of the main causes that can lead to a brain haemorrhage:

  1. Trauma To The Head

    One of the most common and leading causes of brain haemorrhage is some form of trauma that the person suffers on the head. This is especially true of those who are less than 50 years of age and have suffered a brain haemorrhage.

  2. High Levels Of Blood Pressure

    High blood pressure is a very serious health threat that can cause a significant amount of damage to the walls of the blood vessels if not treated on time. This is also one of the most preventable causes of a brain haemorrhage.

  3. Aneurysm

    This is a condition in which there is swelling in the walls of a blood vessel, as a result of which it starts to get damaged and becomes weak. In such a situation, the blood vessel can rupture and bleed into the brain, which can cause a brain haemorrhage.

  4. Abnormalities In The Blood Vessel

    This condition is also known as arteriovenous malformations. It is a condition in which the blood vessels inside and around the brain start to become weak. This condition could be present right from birth but is only diagnosed when there is any specific test done in case some symptoms come up.

  5. Amyloid Angiopathy

    This is a type of abnormality that is present in the walls of the blood vessels. This can happen due to passing age, or also in those cases where a person has very high levels of blood pressure. Amyloid angiopathy can lead to many small bleeds that are hard to diagnose initially, and end up forming a large blood clot.

  6. Blood Disorders Or Bleeding Disorders

    Two types of blood and bleeding disorders, specifically sickle cell anaemia and haemophilia can lead to a reduction in the level of blood platelets. This can further lead to brain haemorrhage.

  7. Liver Problems

    Any type of liver disease can lead to an increase in bleeding that can eventually lead to brain haemorrhage.

  8. Brain Tumours

    A person who has a brain tumour can also suffer from brain haemorrhage.

Strokes are mainly of two types äóñ ischemic stroke and haemorrhagic stroke. Here are some of the main causes that can lead to either of these two types of strokes:

Causes For Ischemic Stroke

Ischemic stroke is also known as a transient ischemic attack and is the most common type of stroke. Almost 87 percent of all stroke cases are those of ischemic stroke. It takes place when the artery that supplies blood to the brain is blocked. A blood clot is the most common reason for an ischemic or transient ischemic stroke. Here are the main causes that could lead to the same:

An ischemic stroke happens when there is a blockage in an artery that is located inside the brain, or an artery that helps to carry blood to the brain. The blockage could be a type of blood clot or it could also be a condition in which the artery becomes narrow due to build-up of plaque.

Causes For Haemorrhagic Stroke

It is the type of stroke that occurs when there is an artery rupture in the brain, or an artery starts leaking blood. Here are the main causes that could lead to the same:

The most common cause of a haemorrhagic stroke is when there is a rupture in an artery. In such a condition, the blood will either completely stop flowing or there will be very less amount of blood flow.

Diagnosis And Treatment For Brain Haemorrhage

Once you visit the doctor, he or she will go through all your symptoms and make an analysis to determine which part of your brain is affected.

The doctor will refer a number of tests, such as MRI, CT scan and so on that will help to show if there is any internal bleeding or if there is an accumulation of blood within the brain. Additionally, the doctor may refer to a proper neurological examination and even an eye examination, which can help to show if there is any swelling in the optic nerve.

The treatment options will be based on a number of individual factors, such as the part of the brain which is affected due to bleeding, cause of the bleeding and severity of the haemorrhage. In case of excessive swelling and bleeding, the doctor may go for surgery. In some cases, the doctor can first prescribe a list of medicines that could include pain killers, corticosteroids or even diuretics. These will help to control and reduce swelling in the brain. In case you have had a seizure, or the doctor suspects you are at risk of the same, he or she may also prescribe anticonvulsants to reduce your risk of getting a seizure attack.

The doctor will refer a number of tests, such as MRI, CT scan and in some cases some other imaging tests that will help to show the exact location of the bleeding and the areas that are affected by the same.

For ischemic stroke, if the stroke is caused by a blood clot, the doctor will first give a medicine that will help to dissolve the clot. He or she may also prescribe other medicines that can bust the clot. Anti-platelet medicines will stop the platelets from clotting up, while anticoagulant medicines (blood thinners), will prevent the already present blood clots from getting any bigger. Some cases may require a carotid artery angioplasty, which is a type of small surgical procedure to reduce the blockage.

For haemorrhagic stroke, the doctor will first stabilize your blood pressure levels and then move on to other forms of treatment depending on the exact cause of the stroke.

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