Common health issue

What is An Ischemic Stroke? Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Treatment


What is an ischemic stroke?

An ischemic stroke may occur when the body stops supplying blood to the brain. However, it is the most common type of stroke, which builds due to a blockage in the arteries around the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these strokes are the 5th leading cause of death in the United States. However, around 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic strokes.


An ischemic stroke can be life-threatening, so it is more important to seek medical care immediately if symptoms appear. Stroke symptoms often affect one side of the body and build quickly.

The American Stroke Association (ASA) suggests that people remember F.A.S.T. This stands for:-

F= Face dropping

A= Arm weakness

S= Speech problems

T= Time to call

Beyond F.A.S.T., an ischemic stroke may also cause the following symptoms to build suddenly:-

  • Walking difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Falling without an identifiable cause
  • A sudden failure of an ischemic stroke
  • Confusion
  • Rapidly building vision problems
  • A severe headache without an apparent cause


An ischemic stroke may occur due to atherosclerosis, which causes fatty deposits and the development of cholesterol plaque in the blood vessels. However, when too much cholesterol plaque collects in one spot, it can block the blood flow to vital organs.

However, the neck holds carotid arteries, which are blood vessels that provide blood to the brain. A stroke might occur if cholesterol plaque blocks a carotid artery (carotid artery disease). However, Atherosclerosis is generally symptomless. Therefore, most people do not know they have atherosclerosis until they have a stroke or experience the other effects of blocked arteries near different organs, like a heart attack.

Risk factors

The most common risk factors for an ischemic stroke and carotid artery disease are the same. They may include:-

  • High blood pressure (HBP): This is the foremost cause of stroke.
  • Diabetes: Most people with diabetes problems are four times more likely to have carotid artery disease.
  • Atherosclerosis or carotid artery disease: Having either of these situations or a family history of these situations can raise the risk of stroke.
  • Atrial fibrillation: Approximately 15 percent of strokes occur in people with Afib.
  • Cholesterol levels: However, upper levels of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or lower levels of “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol can contribute to plaque development in the arteries.
  • A sedentary lifestyle: A lack of physical exercise can lead to high blood pressure (HBP), high cholesterol, and being overweight. These activities raise the risk of arterial plaque buildup.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • An unhealthy diet: Depleting too many saturated or trans fats and foods high in cholesterol, sodium, and sugar can lead to diabetes, plaque buildup, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
  • Being over 55 years of age: However, the risk of stroke raises in people over 55 and raises with each additional decade of life.

However, people with an initial transient ischemic attack (TIA) are also at risk of ischemic stroke. A TIA is a short-term blockage of blood to the brain.

Smoking and ischemic stroke

However, smoking is one of the other possible risk factors that contribute to ischemic stroke by:-

  • Raising plaque buildup in the blood vessels
  • Making blood more likely to clot
  • Pushing up cholesterol levels
  • Narrowing blood vessels
  • Destroying the lining of blood vessels

However, these factors also put someone at greater risk of a stroke.


The brain relies upon a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood, so a stoppage that lasts for just a few minutes can start to damage and destroy brain cells. With a stroke, every minute counts, and occasion treatment is essential for survival.

A person who is feeling an ischemic stroke requires emergency treatment, which may include the following:-

Medication: A crisis team member will inject a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-busting medical cure, through a vein in the arm. Health consultants must administer this medication within 4 hours from the beginning of stroke symptoms to have the desired effect. The chances of a positive result enhance depending on how soon a person receives a shot of tPA.

Surgery to enhance the clot: After a shot of tPA, a person feeling an ischemic stroke may undergo a mechanical thrombectomy

Last Updated on October 11, 2023 by anup