Mens Health (cont.)

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3. Injuries

Accidents happen and the key to minimizing the risk of death is to use common sense and avoid potentially dangerous situations.

  • Simple actions like wearing a seatbelt while in a car, wearing a helmet when cycling, skiing, skateboarding, or other activities where head injuries occur help decrease risk of death in an accident.
  • Driving while impaired on drugs or alcohol is never acceptable and causes a dangerous situation not only for the driver but for those around him. Impairment driving includes not only alcohol but also medications that can cause sedation, including over-the-counter cold and sleep medications. It also includes driving when tired or sleepy. Many authorities on impaired drivers consider texting and cell phone use impaired driving.
  • Most accidents happen around the house and routine prevention can help decrease those accidents. Easy fixes include making sure that floors aren't slippery or wet, stair railings are secure, and walks and driveways are well maintained and well lit at night. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can only work if their batteries are fresh.

4. Stroke (cerebrovascular accident, CVA)

A stroke (cerebrovascular accident [CVA]), occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is disrupted, causing brain cells to die. Blood flow can be compromised by a variety of mechanisms. This can occur because blood supply has been cut off (ischemia) or because there has been bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage). Ischemic strokes occur due to a variety of reasons including the gradual narrowing of a blood vessel in the brain, debris that can break off from the carotid artery in the neck, or from a blood clot that embolizes (or travels) from the heart.

The risk factors for stroke are the same as for heart disease: smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and family history.

A TIA (transient ischemic attack, mini-stroke) is a stroke that improves, usually quickly. A person develops stroke like symptoms (weakness of one side of the body or face, vision loss, speech difficulty) but it resolves spontaneously within a few minutes or hours. This situation should never be ignored since it is a major warning sign that an impending stroke may occur.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/28/2014

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