What Is The Difference Between A Stroke And A Heart Attack?

Two of the scariest things you can encounter are a heart attack and stroke. You may ask yourself, "what is the difference between a stroke and a heart attack?" They may share a few commonalities, but they're entirely different events. One involves the heart, while the other involves the brain.

Indeed, monitoring your health and knowing these differences are key in determining what course of action you need to take.

But, before diving into the specifics of heart attacks and strokes, it's essential to understand how both the brain and the heart work. By acquiring this base knowledge, you'll better appreciate the differences and know what areas are being affected by both of these events.

So, to start, what are the responsibilities of the heart?

Responsibilities Of The Heart

The heart acts as the central machine of your body. It's the organ that pumps blood throughout the entirety of your body, and it's essential to keeping you alive.

The heart divides into four chambers. Out of these four chambers, each side of the heart carries two. The right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs. By doing this, the blood picks up fresh oxygen.

Once the blood gets supplied with oxygen, it travels to the left side of the heart. The left side carries this oxygen-rich blood to the cells in the body. The oxygen acts as a fuel for your cells, and it keeps your body going.

Responsibilities Of The Brain

​So, in terms of what they affect, what is the difference between a stroke and a heart attack? A heart attack affects the heart, while a stroke affects the brain. A stroke is devastating. Why? It hinders the responsibilities of the brain.

If your heart is the engine of your body, then the brain is the driver that controls the engine. It receives signals from your body and responds to it within fractions of milliseconds. It's quite speedy, and the brain controls everything about your body.

It's split into two sides. Each side controls different things. The left side deals heavily with abstract thought and speech. Are you more creative than your friends? You're probably more "left-brained" than them. If imagery or spatial thinking is more your focus, then you probably use the right side more than the left.

While "left-brained" and "right-brained" are figures of speech, it goes to show you how much your brain controls.

Are you feeling hungry? Your brain tells you when it's hungry. Are you tired? Your brain tells you that, too. It tells you everything.

Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Now you know what both the heart and brain are responsible for. So, when pondering the question, "what is the difference between a stroke and a heart attack?" it's crucial to take into account the different symptoms you'll feel with each one.

A heart attack is scary, and many claim to feel a tightness or pressure in their chest. This pressure may spread to the neck and jaw as well. Shortness of breath is also common, as is breaking out into a cold sweat. You might feel dizzy and even nauseous at some points.

A blockage of the blood traveling through the heart is what causes a heart attack. It happens suddenly, and it can be a traumatizing experience.

What To Do During A Heart Attack

someone having a heart ache

​image source: Pixabay

​What is the difference between a stroke and a heart attack? Besides the different symptoms, your actions during a heart attack and stroke are entirely different.

If you find yourself having a heart attack, there are a few things you need to do to keep yourself alive.

One of the first things you need to do is call 911. Even if you think it's something mild, don't take the chance. It's better to be safe than sorry, so call 911 and get the paramedics to your location as soon as possible.

Next, take an aspirin. Ingesting the aspirin helps your heart in more ways than one, and could save your life.

The next step is something that may seem minor but is one of the biggest things you can do in this tense situation: unlock the door to your location.

A few seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Getting into an open location or unlocking your doors can let the paramedics in faster.

Lastly, rest. Stress only makes the situation worse. Try to stay as calm as possible and wait for the paramedics.

Symptoms Of A Stroke

A stroke involves the brain. Specifically, a stroke occurs when the blood that flows through the brain gets halted. Most of the time, they arise from arteries that get clogged in the brain. However, it can also happen if blood seeps into brain tissue because of a burst blood vessel.

A stroke is just as scary as a heart attack and, if you find yourself pondering the question of "what is the difference between a stroke and a heart attack?" learning about the symptoms of a stroke will help you understand this difference more clearly.

The four primary symptoms of a stroke happen so frequently in stroke cases that there's an acronym for them. Dubbed F.A.S.T., the letters stand for face drooping, arm weakness, speech, and time to call 911.

Since a stroke involves the brain, bizarre things happen to the body. Arm weakness and confusion are common ailments. Also, a person having a stroke may become suddenly confused. They may not know where they are or what they're doing.

The thing about these symptoms is that they happen in the blink of an eye. That's what makes it so scary.

Also, a sudden severe headache and trouble with vision are two more symptoms of a stroke. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or others, there are is one crucial step to take during a stroke to help prevent death.

What To Do If You're Having A Stroke

Having a stroke can be devastating to you and your family. That's why, if you feel as if something is off or you don't feel right, getting immediate help is essential to both survival and recovery.

In essence, there are no set rules when it comes to actions taken during a stroke. Sitting down doesn't necessarily help. While staying calm helps, it doesn't reduce the severity of the symptoms.

Instead, there's only one thing to do while having a stroke. That step is calling 911. If a stroke happens, there's not much you can do to stop it. However, recognizing the symptoms early enough can save you from further brain damage.

So, call 911. Stay as calm as you can. Help is on the way, and they'll get to you as soon as possible.

What is the difference between a stroke and a heart attack? Read on to find out the main differences between the two.

What Is The Difference Between A Stroke And A Heart Attack?

You know the symptoms. You know what you need to do during both a stroke and a heart attack. So, what are the main differences between the two?

A stoke is going to affect the brain and could produce brain damage if not promptly treated. Since strokes involve clots of blood in the brain, this blockage creates everything from a droopy face to arm weakness and numbness. It also has lasting effects as well.

You may lose the ability to think clearly. One side of your body may not work correctly anymore. Motor functions or speech may be especially challenging to control.

Also, it's worth noting that a stroke may not kill you. While it has the potential to do so, a stroke doesn't mean imminent death.

While a stroke deals with the brain, a heart attack deals with the heart. A heart attack occurs when arteries are clogged or if the heart muscle dies.

A stroke's effects focus on everything from mobility to speech and vision. A heart attack focuses more on killing you. Surviving a heart attack is difficult to do, and immediate treatment gives you the best shot at doing so.

Both are massively frightening experiences. So, if you find yourself researching the question of, "what is the difference between a stroke and a heart attack?" know that preparing yourself is the best thing you can do.

Knowing what to do in these situations prepares you for facing them.

​Monitor Your Health

Your health should be the most critical aspect of your life. While that doesn't mean you need to eat vegetables all the time, it is worth considering what you eat and how much of it you consume.

It's so easy to forget to eat healthily. But, don't let it slip away from you. Instead, try and stay on top of things. Eat out less and cook more.

What is the difference between a stroke and a heart attack? You now have the answers. You know monitoring your health is essential, and it's crucial to leading a happy life.

Always remember to act quickly if you think something's wrong with your body. Call 911 if something doesn't feel right. You don't need to risk your life.

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