No one is immune to stroke; they can happen to anyone at any time. And according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are more than 800,000 strokes each year in the United States. Not only is stroke is a leading cause of death in the US, but it also causes more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease.
Being able to recognize the first signs and symptoms of a stroke—and knowing how to react—can make the difference between life and death. Stroke symptoms common in both men and women include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
In addition to the symptoms listed above, a woman who is experiencing a stroke can have a number of unique symptoms, including the following:
- Sudden face and limb pain
- Sudden hiccups
- Sudden nausea
- Sudden general weakness
- Sudden chest pain
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Sudden palpitations
Women who are taking birth control pills, are currently pregnant, are taking hormone replacement therapy or are frequent migraine headache sufferers are at an increased risk.
If you do experience or observe any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, call 911 immediately. Also, note the time of symptom onset, as this information may be very helpful in determining treatment options. Every minute counts for stroke patients, and the first three hours are the most critical. Taking fast action can help prevent brain damage and even death.
Strokes are also largely preventable. You can decrease your chance of having a stroke by being aware of common risk factors, which include:
- A family history of stroke
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight
- Not exercising
Engaging in a healthy, active lifestyle, managing medications through consultation with your physician and taking advantage of wellness screenings and regular visits to your doctor are all good ways to reduce your risk of suffering a stroke.
To learn more about strokes, visit stroke.org.
Posted: 7/22/2015 by
Filed under: stroke, symptoms