Strokes do not discriminate.... young or old you can be at risk...
Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association (ASA). There are two kinds of strokes: ischemic, which accounts for 87% and happens when a blood clot stops up a brain blood vessel or artery to the brain; and hemorrhagic, which is caused when a brain blood vessel breaks and results in bleeding inside or over the brain.
A recent study of gender differences in ischemic stroke, the type caused by clots, found that women having a stroke were more likely than men to experience general weakness, fatigue, disorientation, and change in mental status.
Another study found 23.2% of women reported altered mental status, compared with only 15.2% of men.
But when stroke affects the brain’s breathing center, it can trigger a sudden, protracted case of hiccups, more commonly in women.
Can’t catch your breath? Feel like your heart is racing or fluttering? A study of gender differences in stroke found that women are more likely to experience these kind of symptoms.
Sudden, one-sided facial weakness can be a sign of stroke.
Emergency medical personnel will ask you to smile or show your teeth. If one side of your face sags or doesn’t move, that could mean you’re having a stroke.
Pain is not a typical stroke symptom. But if you have sudden pain in an arm, a leg, one side of your face or chest, don’t brush it off.
A study found women experience non-traditional stroke symptoms 62% more often than men, and one of the most common is pain.
A sudden, severe headache, perhaps the worst you’ve ever had, is a common stroke symptom.
One study involving 588 patients found people who experienced headache with the onset of stroke tended to be younger and have a history of migraine. Women were more likely to have a headache with stroke than men.
Stroke can impair the ability to express yourself or understand speech. One test: Repeat the phrase “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Are you slurring words, using the wrong words, or are unable to speak? If any one of these occurs, there’s a 72% chance you have had a stroke.
Stroke can cause double vision, blurred vision or loss of vision in one eye.
When you’re having a stroke, it’s common for an arm or leg (or both) to suddenly go weak, numb, or to become paralyzed. Often the affected limb is on the side of the body opposite from where the stroke occurred in the brain.
Extend both arms (palms up) for 10 seconds. If one arm drifts downward, that indicates muscle weakness, a sign of stroke. Another test: With eyes open, lift each leg separately.
If you are dizzy, nauseous or have trouble walking, people may think you’re intoxicated when, in fact, you’re having a stroke.
Patients may confuse stroke symptoms with other conditions, Sometimes sudden dizziness is attributed to a viral syndrome when it can be the sign of a stroke.
• F: Face drooping. Ask the person to smile, and see if one side is drooping. One side of the face may also be numb, and the smile may appear uneven.
• A: Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms. Is there weakness or numbness on one side? One arm drifting downward is a sign of one-sided arm weakness.
• S: Speech difficulty. People having a stroke may slur their speech or have trouble speaking at all. Speech may be incomprehensible. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence and look for any speech abnormality.
• T: Time to call 9-1-1! If a person shows any of the symptoms above, even if the symptoms went away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to a hospital immediately
Major symptoms: Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body Sudden confusion, or trouble speaking or understanding Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination Sudden, severe headache with no known cause Less frequent symptoms (but occur often in women): Sudden onset of nausea, and vomiting Brief loss of consciousness or fainting, confusion or convulsions Sudden hiccups Sudden face and limb pain
Sudden shortness of breath and chest pain
3 Easy Tests to Assess Symptoms: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? Ask the person to raise his arms. Does one arm drift downward? Ask the person to say a simple sentence. Watch for garbled words and slurred speech. If you think you or someone with you is having a stroke, here’s what to do:
Call 9-1-1 right away. Do not “wait and see” if the symptoms subside. The sooner the patient gets medical attention, the better the outcome.