Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is reduced or absent. Damage to the brain occurs because the brain cells receive little to no oxygen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 795,000 Americans have strokes each year, and about 25 percent die from them. Due to the damage strokes cause to the brain, approximately 15 to 30 percent become permanently disabled. Men are more likely to experience a stroke and have more traditional symptoms compared to women, although the reason as to why is still being researched.
Numbness or Weakness
An initial sign of stroke is numbness or weakness located on one side of the body. This typically occurs in the face, arm or leg. If one side of the mouth is upright while the other side droops, call 911 immediately.
To check for weakness, have the man put his arms at his sides and then have him lift his arms straight up so they are parallel to the floor. If he is unable to lift one arm as high as the other, or if he is unable to lift one of the arms, call 911 immediately.
An man suffering a stroke may suddenly have trouble speaking properly and may slur his words. Have him say, "My name is (insert name)." If he slurs his words or has long pauses between each word, call 911 immediately.
Sudden confusion and an inability to comprehend information is another sign of a stroke. This symptom is easily recognizable if the man is already engaged in a conversation. You will notice that one minute he will be speaking to the relevant topic at hand, and then suddenly he will not understand what has been said or will have trouble understanding you.
Ask the man easy questions such as his name, birthday or where he lives. If the man hesitates before answering or does not know the answer to the questions, call 911 immediately.
Eyesight--in one or both eyes--may be impeded during a stroke. As with the other signs, impaired eyesight will occur suddenly. The man's vision will either be blurred or he will be unable to see anything. Hold a number of fingers approximately two feet from his face and ask him how many fingers he sees. If he has difficulty seeing the number or is unable to see it at all, call 911 immediately.
Loss of Balance or Coordination
Men who experience stroke usually lose their balance due to sudden dizziness. To test for this symptom, have the man put his hands at his sides and then take one hand and try to touch his nose with his pointer finger. If he is unable to do this or has trouble keeping his balance when walking, call 911 immediately.