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. How about impending stroke, also referred to transient ischemic attack (TIA)? What are the signs and symptoms of this mini-stroke?
TIA doesn’t always happen before the real stroke. But some patients have it prior to their stroke.
Typically it only lasts for 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 will usually improve or even have gone away by the time the patient arrives in the hospital. But sometimes it may last almost 24 hours.
TIA could be a warning sign that there is likely a partially narrowed or not-totally blocked artery. So it should not be ignored. With comprehensive strategies (including lifestyle changes and medications), a future stroke is likely preventable!
Knowing the early symptoms of the condition is a good way to keep alert so you can get treatments immediately. The symptoms may vary.
In general, the symptoms of TIA are usually similar to those of the real stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, two major types of stroke), but they are usually short-lived.
Typically, the symptoms occur suddenly and affect one side of the body — ‘left’ or ‘right’? This is dependent on the area of your brain is affected. These may include [reference]:
- 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 and writing.
- Loss of memory (confusion) and difficulty speaking.
- A sudden problem in using one 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 stroke (a condition that can be potential to cause permanent, irreversible damage). What’s more?
My husband had a left-sided stroke (from a piece of cholesterol) at age 46. I’ve worked in hospitals and doctors’ offices my entire career of 34 years, 6 of them in a neurological office, and didn’t recognize the slight droop of his right side of his mouth. He could walk,talk, eat without swallowing problems, drink without drooling, and all the other signs of a strike, which he did not have. I though he may have had Bell’s palsy, as he kept saying he was fine, just very tired. But he has odd reactions to medication and apparently odd symptoms of medical problems too. I told my stepson if he was no better by morning, I was taking him to the hospital. By morning, all he could say was “um”. That’s when I knew he was in trouble. By the time the ambulance got him to the hospital, he could not speak, understand, read or write but was still conscious. Brought him immediately to the closest teaching hospital/medical center. He was in the ICU for 4 days, then rehab center for 4 days afterwards then he refused to stay any longer and went to outpatient therapy for2 months. After that, his copay went up and we could no longer afford therapy. He still has problems with feeling on his right side, word-finding difficult, and memory surrounding the weeks preceding and post stroke. That was 12 years ago September 23, 2009.