The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that strokes are the fifth-leadingcause of death in the United States. They are more common and more likely to be fatal in women, while men tend to have strokes at a younger age.
Being aware of all symptoms, including those specific to sex, can help a person to seek lifesaving medical attention for a loved one.
In this article, we look at the early warning signs of a stroke and symptoms men are more likely to experience. We also describe the recovery process.
Stroke symptoms in men
Weakness or numbness on one side of the body is a common stroke symptom in men.
Authors of a study published in 2009investigated differences in how strokes affected men and women.
They found that the most common symptoms in men were:
- difficulty maintaining balance, also called poor coordination
- weakness on one side of the body
- numbness on one side of the body
Women were more likely to report “nontraditional” symptoms, such as lightheadedness, headaches, and a change in mental status, such as confusion. Men can also exhibit these symptoms.
However, because men tend to exhibit better-known symptoms, bystanders and medical personnel may recognize strokes more quickly in men, reducing the time between the stroke and treatment.
Early warning signs
An ischemic stroke is the most common type. It involves a piece of plaque or a blood clot blocking an artery in the brain.
Hemorrhagic strokes are less common, and they involve bleeding in the brain.
A person may experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or a “mini-stroke.” These may feature short-term, stroke-like symptoms, and they can serve as a warning sign for a stroke.
The acronym FAST can help a person to remember the most common symptoms of a stroke, which are:
- Face drooping. A stroke can cause numbness or weakness on one side of the face. When a person with this symptom tries to smile, only one side of the mouth may respond.
- Arm weakness. A person having a TIA or stroke may be unable to raise one or both arms above the head and keep them there.
- Speech difficulty. A person may have difficulty speaking, or their words may not make sense.
- Time. If a person has any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance. A stroke is a medical emergency, and receiving urgent treatment can prevent further injury to the brain.
Other symptoms of a stroke include:
- feeling faint
A person having a stroke may show several symptoms or only one, such as one-sided weakness.
A stroke cuts off blood flow to the brain, depriving brain cells of oxygen and nutrients. If a person does not get medical attention quickly, they are at risk of permanent brain damage or death.