According to National stroke association, studies have shown that general public and doctors usually tend to underestimate the dangers of stroke and mini strokes (also called Transient ischemic attack or TIA).
Stroke is a condition occurring due to lack of oxygen to the brain and may lead to coma, paralysis (reversible or irreversible), speech defects and dementia (loss of memory). TIA or mini-stroke is basically a “warning stroke” that produces symptoms similar to stroke but they last for a shorter duration (lasting less than 5 minutes) and do not cause any damage to the brain. It results when a blood clot temporarily blocks the artery and a portion of brain does not receive the blood it needs. As TIAs often lead to a major stroke detecting and treating it at the earliest can prevent development of stroke. It has been estimated that about 40% of adults who have been diagnosed for TIA tend to develop a full-blown stroke later.
Because TIAs serve as warning signals of a possible impending stroke, it becomes essential for the doctors as well as the patients to recognize the early warning signs of TIA. A person may be having TIA or stroke if he develops sudden:
- Weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
- Confusion with difficulty in speaking and understanding
- Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination with difficulty in walking
- Difficulty seeing with one eye or both the eyes
- Severe headache (with no known cause)
If you observe any of these symptoms immediately consult the doctor. There are many new and effective medications that can treat the conditions that lead to TIA. Hence, recognizing the symptoms of TIA can help to begin treatment early, thereby reducing the chances of developing a major stroke.