Not only the elderly but young women and men can also suffer from stroke. The number of young adults suffering from stroke is increasing day-by-day. Everyone should be aware of stroke symptoms. One should immediately call 911 or other helpline number for quick medical assistance; because stroke patients need to be hospitalized for prompt treatment. Oxygen therapy or certain medications provided within first few hours after detection of stroke can prevent long term disability and can help the patient to live a quality life.
Types and Causes of Stroke
An interrupted blood supply to brain leads to brain attack, commonly known as stroke. When blood supply to brain is stopped for a while, the condition is referred to as 'mild or mini stroke'. Symptoms of mild stroke may go away within few minutes and so may go unnoticed. When blood supply to brain is blocked for a few minutes, it results in tissue damage. This condition is known as 'severe or complete stroke'.
Blood supply to brain can be blocked because of two main reasons. A blood clot or cholesterol plaque in the artery, or excessive narrowing/hardening of an artery can result in interrupted blood supply to brain. The blood clot may develop in the brain itself or a clot may travel from other organs to the brain. Bursting of an artery can also result in brain hemorrhage and lack of oxygen and nutrients to brain cells.
Stroke due to an interruption in blood supply is known as 'ischemic' stroke while stroke due to a ruptured artery is known as 'hemorrhagic' stroke. When only a few brain cells are damaged due to lack of oxygen, mild symptoms are noticed. But in case of tissue damage, severe symptoms and long-lasting effects are noticed. Since important centers of vision, speech, movement, etc., are located in brain, impaired brain function leads to several problems and disability. Stroke patients who receive correct treatment within a few minutes or within a couple of hours, show fast recovery. Therefore it is necessary to know stroke symptoms.
Symptoms of Stroke in Young Women
When brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients for a few moments, the woman may experience sudden headache, tingling sensation or sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body). The woman may not be able to speak properly. She might not even understand what you are speaking. Sudden mental confusion, inability to speak or laugh, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination are some of the major stroke symptoms for women. Depending upon which side or which part of the brain is deprived of oxygen, the woman may experience vision problems and walking problems.
Blurred vision, double vision, difficulty raising a hand or leg, drooping eye and/or mouth are other common symptoms of stroke. Some women may suffer from spots or flashing lights leading to vision problems, or they may complain about a blind spot. All these symptoms can be experienced by men as well. Certain studies show that when women have a brain attack, they exhibit certain particular symptoms like constant hiccups, rapid heart rate or heart palpitations, breathing difficulty, nausea and vomiting. A woman may suddenly fall down during a brain attack.
Risk Factors for Stroke in Young Adults
Although the elderly are more likely to suffer from stroke, young adults can also have a brain attack. Some of the risk factors for stroke are controllable while some are non-controllable. Aging increases your chances of having a stroke. Apart from age; gender, race, family history, play an important role in increasing/decreasing your chances of having a stroke. Overweight or obese people, people diagnosed with high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure, high blood sugar are more likely to have a brain attack. Lack of exercise, wrong diet, physical inactivity, stressful lifestyle, excessive smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs, etc., are the factors which are responsible for increasing number of young stroke patients.
Now that you know about the symptoms of stroke in young women and men, you can immediately take the patient to a nearby hospital after noticing these symptoms. The symptoms or severity of the symptoms may vary from person to person. Stroke treatment depends upon the type and severity of the symptoms. Prompt supply of oxygen, use of drugs and medications, physiotherapy, massage, low cholesterol diet, rehabilitation process promote fast recovery. Emotional support from the family and friends plays a significant role in quick recovery too.