Stroke affects more men than women and so it is important to know the signs of stroke in men as this can save the lives of fathers, grandfathers, husbands and male friends and colleagues. Stroke occurs suddenly and the longer it takes for treatment to be applied the lesser the chances are for a full recovery. Delayed treatment could lead to irrevocable brain damage that will cost the life of the patient.
Why does stroke occur?
The signs of stroke in men are the same in women and the nature of their occurrence is somehow similar as well. Stroke is a result of either partial or complete insufficiency of blood supply to the brain. With not enough oxygen-carrying blood, the brain cells will slowly die resulting in eventual brain damage. This deficiency in blood supply can be brought about by:
- Ruptured blood vessel
A blood vessel in the brain may rupture because of high blood pressure or brain aneurysm – a condition in which the wall of the blood vessel thins out or become weak. The rupturing of blood vessel could damage the brain cells as blood seeps into the nearby tissues. This kind of stroke is referred to as hemorrhagic stroke.
- Blood clot
This refers to blood clot that occurs anywhere in any of the blood vessels that bring blood toward the brain, not only in the blood vessels of the brain. The blockage can be due to plaque deposits in the blood vessels that block the optimal flow of blood to the brain. This kind of stroke is called ischemic stroke.
Many men will likely suffer from stroke especially if they have the risk factors such as smoking, diabetes and heart disease. Those who are overweight and have high blood pressure and cholesterol levels have great chances of suffering from stroke as well. The signs of stroke in men are reportedly more evident in the mid-40s. Stroke has been found to run in families as well. Being an African-American puts one at high risk of having a stroke due to the high incidence of hypertension among African-American men which is a major contributor for stroke.
What are the signs of stroke in men?
The signs of stroke in men appear quite suddenly. Likewise, the man may be completely unaware that he is having a stroke. Knowing how to identify the symptoms of stroke and acting promptly can give him the best chance for a recovery.
- Severe headache
A man who is having a stroke might experience a sudden onset of intense headache on any part of the head. This is usually what happens when bleeding is present inside the brain.
- Vision and speech problems
The sensory organs are often affected during a stroke, thus, vision and speech problems will arise. Vision problems during a stroke could involve one or both eyes. His vision may become blurry, doubled or totally absent, while his speech may become slurry or have long pauses between words.
- One-sided numbness
Numbness is described as weakness on one side of the body, from the face, hands, arms and down to the legs. Only one side of the body is affected because the area in the brain where the blockage occurs is only affected.
- Loss of coordination
Stroke causes loss of coordination in different parts of the body. This may be characterized by dizziness and loss of balance when walking. The loss of coordination may cause the man to collapse as well.
A man who is having a stroke may become confused suddenly and find it difficult to understand information. In fact, he could be unable to supply even the simplest information about himself like his name, birthday or home address.
What to do when signs of stroke in men manifest ?
A man who is suffering from a stroke needs to receive medical treatment immediately. The waiting period before medical help is administered is also very crucial. The following should be done while awaiting emergency medical care.
- Loosen the clothing to facilitate breathing.
- Ensure that the tongue does not block the airway.
- Make the patient feel calm and comfortable to prevent his blood pressure from rising further.
- Have the patient lie on his side and away from any sharp or hard objects so that he won’t get hurt in case convulsions occur.
- Don’t give the patient any food or fluid as this will only block his airway.
Stroke affects around 15 million people worldwide. Out of these, 5 million people die each year while many become disabled for life. Every second is important when stroke occurs and knowing the signs of stroke in men can greatly improve the outcome and preventing further damage to the brain. Living a healthy lifestyle is crucial in preventing future episodes of stroke.