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Travel & Lifestyle: The 5 Biggest Early Warning Signs Of

Travel & Lifestyle: The 5 Biggest Early Warning Signs Of A ‘Mini Stroke’

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Oftentimes, people can experience what is commonly called a “mini stroke” or “warning stroke” before experiencing a subsequent stroke. Clinically, this is known as a transient ischemic attack, or TIA.

Some experts take issue with this phrasing, mostly because a TIA is every bit as serious as a stroke and should still be treated. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 1 in 5 people who have a suspected transient ischemic attack will have a full-blown stroke within 90 days.

“TIA symptoms are strokelike symptoms that generally last minutes due to an interruption of the blood supply to a portion of the brain,” said Dr. Larry Goldstein, the co-director of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute.

While the traditional definition of TIA symptoms says that they resolve within 24 hours, the majority of TIAs are brief and last less than an hour, he said.

Below, experts share the early warning signs of a transient ischemic attack and what to do if you experience symptoms:

Balance Difficulty And Weakness

One of the most common signs of a TIA is balance difficulty and weakness. Usually this may happen on one side of your body, said Dr. Hardik Amin, an associate professor of neurology and medical stroke director at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Loss Of Vision

Individuals may also experience “loss of vision in one or both eyes, or double vision,” Goldstein said.

This doesn’t necessarily mean seeing nothing. Double vision, also known as diplopia, is when you may see two images of a single object while looking at it.

Face Drooping Or Numbness

Another symptom is facial drooping, or losing muscle control on one side of your face. You may experience numbness, and it may be difficult to smile or move parts of your mouth. This can look similar to Bell’s palsy, a condition that causes the same type of facial paralysis. Though a stroke will typically lead to other symptoms as well, it’s still important to get checked immediately even if this is the only issue you’re experiencing.

Arm Weakness

According to Goldstein, arm weakness is another possible warning sign of a TIA. Lifting objects and holding up your arms may feel like difficult tasks, especially when you haven’t had trouble doing these things before. This symptom also usually occurs on one side of the body.

Speech Abnormalities

Folks may experience difficulty producing speech or finding the right words, Amin said. Words may come out slurred or jumbled, to the surprise of the speaker and their loved ones.

A TIA is an emergency, and anyone who experiences it should get medical attention right away. The good news is that “the risk of having a stroke can be decreased dramatically with targeted treatment,” explained Goldstein.

Doctors can run scans of the brain and blood vessels, evaluate heart function, and screen for cardiovascular risk factors that increase the risk of stroke, according to Amin.

“Treating conditions like plaque in the arteries, heart arrhythmias, hypertension, diabetes and others can dramatically lower the risk of a future stroke, which could lead to significant disability or even death,” he noted.



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