Strokes are a common problem that can be fatal or cause permanent disability and brain damage. They occur when bloodflow to an area of the brain is blocked, causing the brain cells to die within just a few minutes. Quick medical treatment can help prevent permanent damage, make recovery easier, or even save the patient’s life.
Thinking about stroke prevention early could mean the difference between getting the help you need and ignoring stroke symptoms until it’s too late. Women who are concerned about the possibility of a stroke due to their age or a family history should understand the most common stroke symptoms for women so they can call for medical assistance as soon as the first symptoms appear.
Understanding and Preventing Strokes
There are two main types of stroke: ischemic (the more common of the two) and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes involve blockages, while hemorrhagic strokes occur when an artery in the brain ruptures or leaks, causing pressure that damages the brain cells.
Blood clots are the most common reason for blockages to the brain and once the supply of blood is cut off, that area of the brain is affected. Speech may become slurred or an area of the body may be paralyzed. If medical intervention does not occur quickly, these stroke symptoms can become permanent.
The best way to deal with strokes, of course, is to try to prevent them or to react as quickly as possible when they occur. Because our healthcare system is currently very inefficient, wasting around $765 billion each year, many patients cannot afford their care, especially during a major health event like a stroke. Understanding common stroke symptoms for women and men can help patients not only recover more quickly, but also save on healthcare costs. Taking initiative to prevent medical emergencies has a number of important benefits.
Common Stroke Symptoms
Stroke is the #4 cause of death in the United States, and the leading cause of long-term disability. As people get older, their stroke risk increases. With age, women are more likely to die from strokes than men, making it especially crucial to understand stroke symptoms for women. Other risk factors include diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and smoking. Family history and ethnicity also play a role. People at greater risk for stroke need to be especially vigilant for these common stroke symptoms, which tend to come on very suddenly:
- Severe headache
- Trouble walking or balancing
- Blurred vision or trouble seeing (may occur in one or both eyes)
- Confusion, trouble understanding or speaking
- Numbness or weakness, especially in one side of the body. Most common in the face, arm or leg.
These stroke symptoms for women can occur in an instant, and it’s a good idea for people at risk for stroke to always have some form of communication device nearby so they can call 911 if they start to exhibit these stroke symptoms. Minutes can be crucial in whether or not a patient will recover fully from a stroke.
Taking Better Care of Yourself Can Help Your Health
Although it’s crucial for stroke patients to get help immediately, it’s just as crucial for patients to do everything they can to help prevent a stroke in the first place. Many of the risk factors for strokes are chronic conditions that can be minimized by taking certain precautions and by taking better care of yourself.
Healthcare is a huge part of the US economy, making up 18% of the country’s GDP. As the number of Americans over the age of 65 increases, we are beginning to see shortages in nurses and other healthcare workers to take care of the aging population. For this reason, it’s more important than ever for people to try to improve their health and pay attention to their lifestyle.
If you are a woman with a high risk for stroke, now is the time to start thinking about how you can take better care of yourself to improve your health and reduce the chance that you will have a stroke. Your diet and how often you exercise play a huge role in maintaining healthy blood pressure, weight, and conditions like type 2 diabetes. By living a healthy lifestyle and knowing how to spot stroke symptoms for women, you could potentially save your life and live a better, happier life.