TIA should be considered a warning sign of an impending stroke
Unfortunately, many people ignore stroke symptoms when they disappear and suffer a full blown stroke within 90 days to a year. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is no less dangerous than a stroke even when the symptoms disappear within 24 hours. They are sometimes called “mini strokes”, but should really be called warning strokes.
A TIA is caused by a clot. The only difference between a TIA and a full-blown stroke is that with the TIA the blockage is temporary. The symptoms occur rapidly and last a relatively short period of time—less than five minutes, with the average about a minute. While they do not cause permanent brain damage, they are a serious warning sign that a stroke may happen in the future and should not be ignored.
The greatest risk is in the first week, and that is why it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
Time lost is brain lost. Remember FAST:
F – Face drooping
A – Arm weakness
S – Speech difficulty
T – Time to call 911
You may also experience:
- Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Your treatment plan may include medications such as anti-platelet drugs or anticoagulants, procedures such as a carotid angioplasty to open up a clogged artery or preventive surgery such as a carotid endarterectomy to clear the carotid arteries of fatty deposits before another TIA or full-blown stroke occurs.
Call 911 if you believe you or someone else is experiencing a medical emergency.