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 life-saving 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 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 with no known cause
Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. This is a piece of plaque or a blood clot that blocks an artery in the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are less common and involve bleeding in the brain. A person may experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a “mini-stroke”. These accidents can cause brief 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 immediate medical attention, they are at risk of 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 the emergency services immediately. Early identification and treatment of a stroke reduces the risk of brain damage or death. Within 4.5 hours after the start of the stroke, a doctor may administer a drug to break up the clots. A person who thinks he may have a stroke should not drive.
Symptoms of a stroke
These are the most common symptoms and signs of a stroke, which are:
– Facial flaccidity: A blow can cause numbness or weakness on one side of the face. When a person with this symptom tries to smile, only one side of the mouth can respond.
– Weakness in the arms: A person with a TIA or stroke may not be able to lift one or both arms above the head and keep 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 attention immediately. A stroke is a medical emergency and prompt treatment can help prevent further brain damage.
A person with a stroke may have several symptoms or just one, such as one-sided weakness.
Other symptoms of a stroke are:
– feeling faint
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 more familiar symptoms, bystanders and medical staff 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 hospital discharge of people with stroke. These differences may suggest that doctors should 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 time that oxygen and blood did not circulate correctly
– the general state of health of the person before the stroke.
Some people fully recover from a stroke and experience no lasting effects. Others need physical therapy and long-term medication. These medications 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 narrower and harder their arteries are. This can cause atherosclerosis, that is, clogging 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 such as 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 to be higher.
Pregnancy and the use of birth control pills can put women at risk of having a stroke.
Talk to your doctor if close family members have had a stroke or heart attack, as some types of high cholesterol can run in families.
A stroke is serious, regardless of gender. Men with risk factors such as high blood pressure and a history of smoking are at increased risk. However, sometimes the causes of a stroke can be avoided. A person can significantly reduce their risk by not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, leading an active lifestyle, and eating a balanced and nutritious diet.
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