Heart attacks and strokes are often compared to one another. Both are caused by a lack of blood flow, and both require immediate medical attention. However, these conditions have different symptoms and risk factors. Understanding how these events differ will help you understand what’s happening in an emergency. So what’s the difference between a stroke and a heart attack? Read on to get the answers.
What’s the Difference Between a Stroke and a Heart Attack?
What’s the difference between a stroke and a heart attack? Well, the biggest difference is the part of the body that is affected. Both strokes and heart attacks occur when the blood supply is blocked from a certain part of the body. For heart attacks, the blockage prevents blood from flowing to and from the heart. For strokes, the blockage prevents blood flow to and from the brain. There are other differences, too. We’ll explain these below.
Stroke Causes and Symptoms
A stroke happens when blood is unable to flow to a person’s brain. The blood flow can be blocked by a ruptured blood vessel or a blood clot. Stroke symptoms are caused by a lack of oxygen getting to the brain. These symptoms include weakness, headache, facial drooping, speech issues, and also arm weakness.
Heart Attack Causes and Symptoms
A heart attack is caused by a blockage of blood flow to a person’s heart. Heart attacks are usually caused by excess plaque in a person’s arteries. (This is common in patients with coronary artery disease.) Heart diseases might cause severe chest pain, mild chest pressure, or they might even occur with no chest pain at all. However, pain and tightening in the chest are common symptoms, as are shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, and pain in the arm, shoulder, back, or jaw.
Getting Emergency Care
Both heart attacks and strokes are emergency situations, so they require urgent care. If you or your loved one have symptoms of either condition, then call 911 right away. Do not wait to see if the symptoms pass, as every minute counts after a heart attack or stroke.
You can lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes with preventative care. To learn more about your heart health, call Northwest Cardiovascular today.