What is it?
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a stroke that lasts only a few minutes. It happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly blocked. Symptoms of a TIA are like other stroke symptoms, but do not last as long. They happen all of a sudden and is also called a mini stroke. Unlike a stroke, a TIA doesn’t kill brain tissue or cause permanent disabilities. Since symptoms of a TIA and a stroke are nearly identical, you should seek immediate emergency attention if you experience any symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech Trouble seeing in one or both eyes Difficulty walking dysphasia (trouble speaking) confusion tingling dizziness passing out an abnormal sense of taste an abnormal sense of smell weakness or numbness on just one side of the body or face, determined by the location of the blood clot in the brain Dizziness Loss of balance or coordination Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may last for up to 24 hours. Because you cannot tell if these symptoms are from a TIA or a stroke, you should go to the hospital right away.
- Eat a healthy diet – a low-fat, reduced salt, high-fibre diet is usually recommended, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
- Exercise regularly – for most people, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week is recommended
- Weight loss
- Get adequate sleep
- Improve your control of other medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
- Stop Smoking – if you smoke, stopping may significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke in the future
- Avoid secondhand smoke
- Cut down on alcohol – you should aim not to exceed the recommended alcohol limits of three to four units a day for men and two to three units a day for women
- Reduce stress
- Don’t use illicit drugs.
Things to watch out for
Transient ischemic attacks do not last for long but they might be an early warning sign for stroke. Immediately call 000 or take someone undergoing an attack of TIA to the emergency so further testing and treatment is done to avoid any future serious attack.