A stroke is a terrifying condition that sadly affects many people. Sometimes, few people experience mini stroke symptoms that are not as severe as a full-blown stroke but are nonetheless a sign of major problems.
The medical term for mini stroke symptoms is a transient ischemic attack. A transient ischemic attack is a disorder in which there is a neurological dysfunction caused by lack of oxygen (ischemia) without permanent tissue damage. These mini stroke symptoms are similar to strokes and are also caused by an obstruction or decrease in blood flow to the brain.
Mini stroke symptoms are almost completely identical to a full stroke but in this case, the symptoms resolve within a few hours to a day. The symptoms may not last very long but they can potentially cause brain damage. A transient ischemic attack or a mini stroke greatly increases the chances of a subsequent stroke. About 1 in 3 people who experience mini stroke symptoms go on to have a stroke.
Men, older people, people with a family history of stroke, and smokers are at a higher risk of experiencing mini stroke symptoms. The symptoms can be confusing and sometimes they may be so mild that people ignore them. This is a huge mistake, as the faster you get your mini stroke symptoms treated, the better is your chance of recovery.
Mini Stroke Symptoms To Watch Out For
The initial symptoms of a stroke and mini stroke symptoms are almost identical so it is important to seek medical attention as soon as the mini stroke symptoms start to manifest. The most common initial mini stroke symptoms can be remembered with the acronym F.A.S.T:
One of the most noticeable, mini stroke symptoms is a drooping of the muscles on one side of the face. The person may suddenly lose control of one entire side of their face. In some cases, the affected side may lose all sensation as well.
Facial drooping may be subtle in some cases, hence one way to check this symptom is to ask the person to smile. If the person is experiencing mini stroke symptoms, the smile will appear uneven, with only one side of the face moving.
Along with the weakness and loss of sensation in the face, the corresponding side of the body also loses movement and sensation. If asked to lift both arms, the person will not be able to lift the arm on the affected side or will not be able keep it lifted for a long time.
Speech difficulty or dysphagia is one of the important mini stroke symptoms. People experiencing mini stroke symptoms may find that they are suddenly unable to speak. Their speech may be slurred or incomprehensible or in some cases, they will not be able to speak at all. You can check for difficulty speaking by asking the person a question or asking them to repeat a sentence.
If you notice any of these mini stroke symptoms in someone, it is very important to get emergency medical treatment as soon as possible. Time is an important factor in stroke recovery. The faster the treatment is initiated, the better are the chances of recovery and less risk of developing into a stroke.
These are the most important mini stroke symptoms. Apart from this, other mini stroke symptoms include:
Some people report feeling dizzy or lightheaded just as the transient ischemic attack starts to subside. This is unlike a stroke and so is an important distinguishing factor for a transient ischemic attack.
Temporary Blindness Or Vision Disturbances
Some cases of transient ischemic attacks cause a type of blindness called transient monocular blindness, which is loss or obstruction of vision in one eye. The person may lose sight in one eye completely or their vision may become blurred or dim. This symptom may last for a few minutes and is aggravated by bright lights.
If headache is one of the mini stroke symptoms, then it is definitely different from the normal headache people usually experience. Some people report it as the worst headache of their lives. The severity and sudden onset is what distinguishes it from normal headaches.
Mini stroke symptoms depend largely on the area of the brain affected. The impairment will manifest as a loss of function of that particular brain area.
Since in the early stages the mini stroke symptoms are identical to a stroke, it is important to get medical care. A transient ischemic attack will resolve in a short period of time but it can recur and lead to a complete stroke.
A doctor will be able to diagnose a transient ischemic attack by noting the mini stroke symptoms and conducting various tests such as MRI and CT scans.
Mini stroke symptoms can vary in severity. It is important to be aware of these symptoms so that you can recognize them yourself and in others in case of an emergency. In this case, adequate knowledge can save a life.