The Stroke You May Not Recognize

7 Nov

Transient ischemic attacks, known as TIAs or mini strokes, occur when blood flow to the brain is temporarily blocked or dramatically reduced.

Symptoms which usually last for less than 5 minutes but can linger for 24 hours, are the same as those a full stroke may bring, such as sudden numbness in the face, arm, or leg (usually on one side), trouble speaking or seeing, dizziness, or loss of balance. But many people who have TIAs don’t realize what’s happening.

Though one-third of U.S. adults have had mini strokes symptoms only about 3 percent called 911 according to a 2017 American Heart Association survey.

If you think you might be having a TIA, get to the emergency room immediately. It’s essential to be evaluated quickly so that doctors can determine the cause of the TIA (or full-blown stroke), says Howard Riina, M.D., professor of neurosurgery, radiology, and neurology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

Doctors may recommend a procedure or prescribe drugs to control blood pressure and cholesterol and prevent more blood clots. It’s also key to follow stroke prevention steps. More than one-third of people who have a TIA but get no treatment have a major stroke within one year.

Source: Consumer Reports on Health November 2017

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