Many people may be unaware of the signs or symptoms of transient ischemic attack (TIA), while it is often a warning message for coming harmful conditions. About one-third of the people who have a TIA go to have a more severe stroke within a year.
What is a transient ischemic attack?
Transient ischemic attack or called mini-stroke which is a problem in the blood vessels of the brain, it causes a temporary decrease in blood flow to a certain brain region. TIA begins just like ischemic stroke. The difference in TIA is the blockage is temporary and blood flow return on it own. Blood flow is interrupted only for a short time and symptoms of TIA do not last long, commonly less than an hour.
Are there any signs and symptoms of a transient ischemic attack?
You should not overlook to TIA, even though the symptoms go away. It is alert sign to inform that a major stroke may appear soon. The viral symptoms can be memorized with the work FAST as following:
- F – Face: ask he/she to smile. Does his/her face drop one side?
- A – Arms: ask he/she to raise both arms. Does his/her arm drift downward one side?
- S – Speech: ask he/she to repeat a simple sentence. Is his/her speech slurred or strange?
- T – Time: if you see any of the signs abovementioned, call emergency number straight away
Additional signs and symptoms may happen include:
- Completely loss of the ability to move or use one side of the body or paralysis on side of the body
- Sudden loss eyesight, blur or double vision
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Having a hard time to understand the other people saying
- Imbalance or problem with co-ordination
- Having difficulty to swallow (dysphagia)
What are the risk factors of transient ischemic attack?
Other types of stroke and TIA are caused by the same problems. The risk factors that cause to strokes and TIA most commonly such as:
Risk factors unable to change:
- Family history with stroke and TIA
- Age especially when you are getting older than 55 years old
- Having a previous personal history of TIA
- Sickle cell disease
- Overweight or obese
- Physical inactivity
- Heavy drinking
- Inappropriate nutrition
- Illegal drugs use (cocaine and methamphetamine)
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Smoking cigarette or secondhand smoking
- High cholesterol
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Heart diseases such as heart failure, heart defects, heart infection or abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation)
- Carotid artery disease
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- High level of homocysteine
When should you go to get medical advice associated with a transient ischemic attack?
Because TIA appears hours or days before a stroke. Thus, looking for medication regimens following a possible TIA is significant. Obtain immediate medical attention if you are suspect you are having a TIA.
What are the treatments of a transient ischemic attack?
Your physician may use several medications in order to decrease the chance of a stroke after TIA. He/she selected medication depends on the area, cause, severity, and type of TIA.
- Anti-platelet drugs
In case you have a moderate or severely narrowed carotid artery or neck artery, your physician may advise you to do carotid endarterectomy.
In some cases, in need a procedure called carotid angioplasty (stenting).
What are the preventions of transient ischemic attack?
In order to prevent from TIA, knowing your risk factor and living healthy are the best option you should follow include:
- Stop smoking
- Limit cholesterol and fat
- Eat food rich in vegetables and fruits
- Lower your salt and sodium intake
- Physical activity regularly
- Limit alcohol drinking
- Control your body weight
- Avoid using illegal drugs
- Manage diabetes and hypertension with diet, exercise, weight control, and adherence medication as needed.
- Harvard Health Publishing:Harvard Medical School. (2020). Retrieved from Don’t be fooled by TIA symptoms: https://www.health.harvard.edu/stroke/dont-be-fooled-by-tia-symptoms
- Providence Health & Services Oregon and Southwest Washington. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ask an expert: Stroke vs. TIA: https://oregon.providence.org/forms-and-information/a/ask-an-expert-stroke-vs-tia/
- NHS. (2020, January 21). Retrieved from Transient ischaemic attack (TIA): https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/transient-ischaemic-attack-tia/
- American Stroke Association. (2020). Retrieved from TIA (Transient ischemic attack): https://www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke/types-of-stroke/tia-transient-ischemic-attack
- Mayo Clinic. (2020, March 7). Retrieved from Transient ischemic stroke (TIA): https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/transient-ischemic-attack/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355684
- Medline Plus. (2020). Retrieved from Transient Ischemic Attack also called: Mini-stroke: https://medlineplus.gov/transientischemicattack.html#cat_92