Stroke is a serious health problem that can be potentially life-threatening. In general, it occurs when the blood flow to the brain is blocked. And talking about an impending stroke, it is closely related with a medical health condition called transient ischemic attack (TIA). It is a kind of mini-stroke that occurs temporarily. However, you should not ignore it because it can be a warning sign of an impending stroke!
TIA doesn’t always happen before the real stroke occurs. But some patients have it prior to their stroke.
Typically it only last a few minutes (about 5 to 20 minutes), according to an article published in the Maryland University Medical Center. Most cases of TIA last less than 5 minutes, according to Mayo Clinic.
The symptoms of transient ischemic stroke often will have gone away by the time patient arrives in the hospital. However, sometime it can last almost a day ’24 hours’ before its signs and symptoms improve completely.
TIA occurs when the blood that flow to the brain is temporarily blocked. A temporarily significant decrease of blood supply to the brain can cause a brief episode of signs and symptoms similar to a condition when you have a real stroke.
TIA can tell you that there is something wrong. It can be a warning sign that there is likely a partially narrowed or not-totally blocked artery that carries blood from your heart to your brain.
Knowing the early symptoms of this health condition can make you aware when you should see a doctor promptly. The symptoms may vary from person to person – not all patients with stroke have the textbook early warning signs of the disease.
In general, the symptoms of transient ischemic attack can be the same as the signs /symptoms of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke (two major types of stroke), but they usually last temporarily. Furthermore, the kind of sign that appears is also dependent on which area /part of the brain is affected.
Typically, the symptoms occur suddenly and affect one side of the body ‘left or right – again depending on the area of your brain is affected’. These include:
- A sudden vertigo (abnormal feeling in movement).
- A sudden dizziness or headache.
- Changes in feeling to respond the environment. For instances, one side of your body is less sensitive to respond taste, temperature, sound (one side of your ear), pain, and touch.
- Sudden weakness that affect one side of the body.
- Poor in alertness.
- Sudden difficulty in swallowing.
- Sudden weakness /numbness in your face. Tingling and numbness may also affect one side of the body.
- Problem in reading or/and writing.
- Loss of memory (confusion) and difficulty speaking (problem in understanding /saying word) are pretty common in early stage of stroke.
- A sudden problem in using one of your eyes. Sometime loss of vision may also affect both of your eyes.
- Poor control over bladder or even bowel movement.
- Poor ability in recognizing people or objects.
- Poor coordination and balance (difficulty walking).
- Changes in mood and personality may also occur.
Fortunately, transient ischemic attack usually doesn’t lead to a permanent damage to the brain.
However, TIA can be a warning sign of an impending stroke in the coming months or even weeks.
Though it is a temporary condition, you have to find emergency care for appropriate treatment and more advice! People who have experienced TIA are more likely to have a full-blown stoke (a condition that can be potential to cause permanent damage ‘irreversible damage’).