Every year about 400,000 people have a stroke which makes it third in the cause of death category and the number one cause of long term disability. While you may be familiar with the description of crushing pain that is often depicted on television you may not be aware of other warning signs and some of the risk factors involved with stokes.
There have been times where men have suffered from mild strokes without even knowing it so it is important to be able to recognize the signs that one might be on the way:
- Severe and sudden headaches
- Decrease of loss of vision
- Numbness or weakness on one side of the body, or on the face, leg or arm
- Difficulty understanding speech or difficult to speak
- Sudden or unexplained dizziness
If you begin to experience any of these symptoms you should see a doctor or head to an emergency room immediately. Immediate medical attention is required when you have a stroke as the first hours after the symptoms appear are the most important time in which to get treatment in order to obtain the best possibility of recovery.
A stroke is considered a brain attack which is usually caused by some kind of disturbance, usually suddenly, of the blood flow to your brain. Sometimes this can be due to a narrowing of the vessels or even the result of a blood clot; or it can also be caused by bleeding (hemorrhage) from an artery.
There are three basic kinds of strokes:
Embolic stroke – this is caused by a clot breaking loose from some other area of your body which goes through your bloodstream and then blocks an artery which in turn stops the flow of nutrients and oxygen to your brain.
Hemorrhagic stroke – this happens when one of the arteries that supplies blood bleeds into your brain; this broken artery prevents those required nutrients and oxygen from getting to your brain cells. Often times this is caused by an aneurysm which is an artery that becomes weak over time and then will suddenly bulge and break.
Thrombotic stroke – this one is usually due to fatty deposits building up in the arteries that carry blood to your brain, slowing the flow until it becomes completely blocked.
Many men are under the mistaken impression that having a stroke is just a one time damage to their body; however, a stroke actually develops over time depending upon your particular habits and lifestyle. The conditions that may lead to having a stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and smoking. Reduce your risk by controlling your blood pressure, watching your weight, quitting smoking and following a regular exercise routine.