What Are the Signs of An Impending Stroke?

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!

What actually is transient ischemic attack?

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.

Early signs of an impending stroke

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.

image_illustration54Typically, 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:

  1. A sudden vertigo (abnormal feeling in movement).
  2. A sudden dizziness or headache.
  3. 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.
  4. Sudden weakness that affect one side of the body.
  5. Poor in alertness.
  6. Sudden difficulty in swallowing.
  7. Sudden weakness /numbness in your face. Tingling and numbness may also affect one side of the body.
  8. Problem in reading or/and writing.
  9. Loss of memory (confusion) and difficulty speaking (problem in understanding /saying word) are pretty common in early stage of stroke.
  10. A sudden problem in using one of your eyes. Sometime loss of vision may also affect both of your eyes.
  11. Poor control over bladder or even bowel movement.
  12. Poor ability in recognizing people or objects.
  13. Poor coordination and balance (difficulty walking).
  14. Changes in mood and personality may also occur.

What will happen then?

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’).

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