Although all strokes interrupt blood flow to a part of the brain, there are different types of strokes that affect the brain differently and that are treated very differently.

A small blood clot may form in a blood vessel and then block an artery in the brain. Sometimes this blood clot may develop in another part of your body, and then travel in the blood vessels to the brain and get stuck, blocking the blood vessel. The medical term for this is an embolus’.

Watch a visual explanation of ischaemic stroke from the American Heart Association

When a blood vessel in the brain bursts, it bleeds into the brain and damages it. The medical name for this is ‘cerebral haemorrhage’, which simply means ‘bleeding in the brain’. Most bleeding strokes are caused by uncontrolled blood pressure, but there are other reasons why blood vessels in the brain can become weakened too. Only two in 10 strokes are caused by bleeding. The majority are caused by clots.

Watch a visual explanation of haemorrhagic stroke from the American Heart Association

TIA is a Transient Ischaemic Attack, which is also known as a mini stroke or warning stroke. A TIA is similar but less severe than a full-blown stroke. Most TIA‘s usually last a short time (10 -15 minutes) and the person will recover within 24 hours.

If you have a TIA you will have the same symptoms as if you were having a stroke but you will recover quickly and the TIA won’t usually cause permanent damage to the brain.

A mini-stroke is a WARNING SIGN that a more severe stroke may be coming at some point in the future, so it needs to be taken seriously and should not be ignored.

It is vital to get immediate medical attention if you think you have had a TIA as the proper medical treatment can reduce your chances of having another TIA and prevent a fatal or disabling stroke.

Medical treatment may necessary to prevent a full-blown stroke from happening.

Amaurosis Fugax is a medical term that simply means a blood clot has become lodged in the blood vessel at the back of the eye, causing loss of vision. This is a type of TIA that affects the eye and should be investigated by your doctor to prevent a stroke from occurring in the future. People often say it feels like the ‘light is fading and a curtain is being pulled over the eye’. The blood clot usually breaks up naturally and the eyesight recovers.

It is a myth that only older adults have strokes. While people over 65 are at higher risk of stroke, a person of any age can have a stroke, including teenagers, children, newborns and unborn babies. Although estimates vary, stroke affects about 6 in 100,000 children. Learn more about strokes in children form the International Alliance for Paediatric Stroke