A mini stroke or transient ischemic attack involves the cessation of blood flow to the brain for a momentary period. Nevertheless, a mini stroke will not cause the death of the brain cells unlike with an actual stroke. This condition can cause symptoms that are similar to a stroke and often a precursor to an actual one in the future. Remember that a mini stroke can reduce the life expectancy of an individual up to 20%. Prompt medical care is required to help prevent the risk for a stroke.
Symptoms of mini stroke
It can be challenging to pinpoint the symptoms of a mini stroke. Take note that the symptoms are somewhat similar to a stroke but many do not seek medical attention since they are less severe and do not last long. A stroke can last 1-2 days but a minor stroke can last between 1-24 hours at a time.
Common symptoms of mini stroke
- Abrupt increase in the blood pressure
- Muscular weakness
- Numbness in the legs or arms
- Sudden fatigue
- Tingling sensation in the body
- Momentary memory loss
- Difficulty speaking
- Personality changes
- Balance issues
- Visual problems
Most of these symptoms can occur among stroke victims. Call for emergency assistance once you suspect that an individual is having a stroke or mini stroke. To recognize and manage the symptoms of a mini stroke, sign up for standard or emergency first aid and CPR course with a credible provider near you.
What are the causes and risk factors for mini stroke?
High blood pressure is a usual cause of mini stroke. This is also a leading cause of stroke where a mini stroke serves as a warning. It is vital that the individual will control his/her blood pressure to prevent future mini strokes from occurring. The other common causes and risk factors include damaged blood vessels, blood clots, constricted blood vessels, high cholesterol levels, diabetes and heredity.
Those who are 65 years and older are known to face a higher risk of dying from a stroke after experiencing a mini stroke.
How mini stroke is diagnosed
The doctor will conduct tests to confirm if the individual suffered a mini stroke. A CT scan or MRI can provide the doctor the exact cause of the transient ischemic attack. The usual causes include a blood clot in the neck or a blocked artery in the heart.
If the doctor suspects a heart problem, an echocardiogram will be carried out to obtain a better view of the area. Always remember that determining the underlying cause is vital in order to prevent future strokes.
Prevention of future strokes
A mini stroke will not cause lasting brain damage. At the same time, the individual should not ignore the issue. A mini stroke is often an indication of an underlying health issue that can lead to actual strokes in the future.
The treatment to prevent strokes in the future typically include medications that control high blood pressure, cholesterol medications, aspirin for prevention of blood clots, proper control of blood sugar levels among diabetics and even surgery for blocked neck arteries.
Medications are usually taken for a long period of time to prevent a stroke. In addition, regular follow-up with a doctor is required to monitor the condition. Changes in the lifestyle such as exercise and diet are included in the prevention plan.