A mini-stroke, also known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), is a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain. It is often referred to as a “warning stroke” because it can be a warning sign of a more severe stroke to come. TIAs typically last only a few minutes, and symptoms may resolve quickly without treatment. However, it is important to recognize the signs of a mini-stroke and seek medical attention right away, as TIAs increase the risk of a major stroke in the future.
The first signs of a mini-stroke may include any of the following:
• Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the face, arm, or leg
• Sudden vision changes in one or both eyes
• Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech
• Sudden difficulty walking or maintaining balance
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause
It’s important to note that the symptoms of a mini-stroke can be similar to those of other conditions, such as migraines or inner ear problems. However, if you experience any of the above symptoms and they resolve quickly, it is still important to seek medical attention to rule out a TIA.
TIAs can be caused by a blood clot that temporarily blocks blood flow to the brain, or by a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the brain. These issues can be treated with medication or surgery to reduce the risk of a more severe stroke.
If you have a history of TIAs or other risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, it is important to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk of having a stroke. This may include lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking. It may also include medication to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol.
One-third of people who have had a TIA will have a major stroke within a 48-hour period. With prompt treatment, the risk of a more severe stroke can be reduced. If you have a history of TIAs or other risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, it is important to talk to your doctor at Manhattan Cardiology about ways to reduce your risk of having a stroke.
Learn more about transient ischemic attack here.