When blood cannot flow properly to the brain, brain cells die. This is called a stroke. Many signs and symptoms are the same for men and women, although some occur more often in men.
Strokes are more common and more likely to be fatal in women, while men tend to experience strokes at a younger age.
Knowing all the symptoms, including those specific to men and women, can help a person seek lifesaving medical attention for someone who may be having a stroke.
In this article, we look at the warning signs of a stroke and the symptoms that men are more likely to experience. We also describe the recovery process.
There are a number of warning signs to look for if someone is having a stroke. These include symptoms such as a sudden:
– numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
– confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech
– difficulty seeing with one or both eyes
– difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination
– severe headaches without known cause
Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. It involves a piece of plaque or a blood clot blocking an artery in the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are less common and involve bleeding in the brain. A person can experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a “mini-stroke”. These accidents can cause short-lived, stroke-like symptoms and can serve as a warning sign of a stroke. A stroke cuts off blood flow to the brain, depriving brain cells of oxygen and nutrients. If a person does not receive prompt medical attention, they risk permanent brain damage or death.
What to do if a person has a stroke?
If a person suspects that another person is having a stroke, they should contact emergency services immediately. Identifying and treating a stroke early reduces the risk of brain damage or death. Within 4.5 hours of the start of the stroke, a doctor may give medicine to break up the clots. A person who thinks they may have a stroke should not drive.
Symptoms of a Stroke
Here are the most common symptoms and signs of a stroke, which are:
– Facial sagging: A stroke can cause numbness or weakness on one side of the face. When a person with this symptom tries to smile, only one side of their mouth can respond.
– Arm weakness: A person with a TIA or stroke may be unable to raise one or both arms above their head and hold them there.
– Speech difficulty: A person may have difficulty speaking, or their words may not make sense.
– Time: If a person has any of the above symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately. A stroke is a medical emergency and urgent treatment can help prevent further brain damage.
A person with a stroke may have several symptoms or just one, such as unilateral weakness.
Other symptoms of a stroke are:
– fainting feeling
Women are more likely to report “non-traditional” symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and mental status changes, such as confusion. Men can also have these symptoms. However, since men tend to have better-known symptoms, bystanders and medical personnel can recognize strokes more quickly in men, reducing the time between stroke and treatment.
Recovery after a stroke in men
There are significant differences in the rehabilitation and discharge from hospital of people with stroke. These differences may suggest that physicians need to consider a person’s gender and age when planning care.
Recovery after a stroke depends on many factors. Among these are:
– the area of the brain affected by the stroke
– the length of time that oxygen and blood did not circulate properly
– the general state of health of the person before the stroke.
Some people recover completely from a stroke and experience no lasting effects. Others need physical therapy and long-term medication. These drugs can:
– thin the blood
– reduce blood pressure
– reduce cholesterol
A stroke can affect anyone, but certain factors increase a person’s risk of stroke. It is important to know the risk factors so that you can take certain steps to reduce this risk. These factors are:
Age: The older a person is, the more narrow and hard their arteries are likely to be. This can cause atherosclerosis, ie the blockage of the arteries.
Medical conditions: Certain conditions increase the risk of stroke, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Lifestyle factors: Certain behaviors like smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and eating an unhealthy diet can damage blood vessels.
Family history: If a first-degree relative has had a stroke, the risk is likely higher.
Pregnancy and the use of birth control pills can put women at risk of stroke.
One should speak with one’s doctor if close relatives have had a stroke or heart attack, as some types of high cholesterol can be hereditary.
A stroke is serious, regardless of gender. Men with risk factors such as high blood pressure and a history of smoking have an increased risk. However, the causes of a stroke can sometimes be avoided. A person can significantly reduce their risk by not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, leading an active lifestyle and eating a balanced, nutritious diet.
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