Stroke

need to know
Issue no. 2: matters of the heart
photography - ailyn robles

Stroke is a leading cause of mortality for women, with twice as many women a year dying from a stroke than from breast cancer. Stroke is also a leading cause of disability for women. Because women live longer than men, they are more likely to experience a stroke while living alone. This can result in a more difficult recovery, which may require living in a long-term care facility.

The general signs and symptoms of a stroke include: one-sided weakness of face or limbs, difficulty speaking, blurred vision, confusion, and loss of balance and hand-eye coordination.

However, women can also present unique symptoms, which could delay treatment if not recognized as a stroke. These symptoms include: disorientation, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, chest pain, generalized weakness, fainting, hallucination, and seizures.

Early detection is crucial in the treatment of stroke, which needs to be initiated within a few hours of symptoms first occuring. If one suspects they are experiencing a stroke, it is critical to seek help immediately.