Caring nurse helps elderly woman out of bed in rehab at nursing home

What are the Three Types of Strokes?

According to the National Institute on Aging, strokes are very common among seniors in the U.S. In fact, more than 66 percent of patients hospitalized after a stroke are over the age of 65. Because so many people have strokes, many seniors have a fear of experiencing one. This fear often brings up a lot of questions – Which type of stroke is worse? What is a silent stroke? What is the difference between ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke?

If you or a loved one is afraid of having a stroke, knowledge is the best tool. It helps to understand the causes of a stroke, the types of strokes and stroke treatment.

What are the Three Types of Strokes?

The type of stroke you experience dictates the plan for your treatment and can impact your recovery. So, what are the three types of strokes?

  1. Transient ischemic attack (also known as a mini stroke or a warning stroke)

This type of stroke, known as a TIA, is different from the two major types of strokes because it only blocks the blood flow to the brain for a short time. While it is sometimes called a “mini stroke,” the fact that this type of stroke occurs is a major signal to your body. Experiencing a TIA is a warning sign of a future stroke. Other points to remember about TIAs include:

  • A TIA is a medical emergency and you should call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • There is no way of knowing at first if you are experiencing a TIA or a major stroke.
  • Blood clots often cause TIAs.
  • If you do not seek treatment for your TIA, you are more likely to experience a major stroke in the near future.
  1. Ischemic stroke

The most common type of strokes are ischemic strokes. This type of stroke occurs when the blood flow through the main artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain is blocked. Blood clots are common causes of the blockages that cause ischemic strokes.

  1. Hemorrhagic stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery in your brain ruptures or leaks. The leaked blood puts pressure on the brain cells, which causes damage. Hemorrhagic strokes are often caused by aneurysms and high blood pressure. There are two types of strokes within the category of hemorrhagic strokes:

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage strokes are the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke. This occurs when an artery in the brain bursts, causing blood to flood the surrounding tissue.
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage is when bleeding occurs in the area between the brain and the thin tissue that covers it.

Understanding Stroke Treatment

The ability to recover and pace of recovery after a stroke depends greatly on how quickly you receive treatment, your physical condition before the stroke and your recovery plan after the stroke. Individuals who opt to recover at senior rehab facilities, like Crystal Pines Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, benefit from the expertise in caring for stroke and neurological conditions, as well as the personalized care plans and the amenities to support your recovery goals.

Once you have had a stroke, your stroke treatment team will decide on a treatment plan. There are differences between the treatments for the two major types of strokes. These include:

Treatments for Ischemic Stroke

If you receive treatment within three to four hours of the stroke, treatment may include a clot-busting drug. If drugs are not a possibility, your stroke team may decide to remove the clot after you arrive at the hospital.

Treatments for Hemorrhagic Stroke

When a hemorrhagic stroke occurs, the main goal of the medical team is to find and control the bleeding. Further treatment will depend on what caused the stroke in the first place. If it was an aneurysm, doctors may decide to clamp the broken blood vessel or to thread a tiny coil through it in order to keep the blood vessel from bursting again. Either way, the first steps of your treatment will take place in the hospital. Depending on the chance of another stroke, your stroke team will make recommendations for rehabilitation.

Planning Your Recovery

Whether you are recovering from surgery, major illness, stroke or other conditions, the Crystal Pines Rehabilitation and Health Care Center has a team of experts ready to create a care plan that supports you and your family during each step of recovery.

Additionally, Crystal Pines brings a purposeful approach to recreational activities. Our programs create a holistic approach to wellness, offering services such as:

  • Skilled Nursing Care
  • Exercise Groups
  • Recreational Programs
  • Social Services
  • Therapy
  • Tube Feeding
  • Pain Management
  • Diabetes Management

Contact us today to schedule a tour of our community and to learn more about our services.