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Know TIA symptoms, light stroke often undetected

A momentary ischemic attack or so-called transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini stroke, is when the blood stops flowing to the brain in a short time. However, these mini strokes do not kill brain cells as strokes do. The condition of mini stroke causes symptoms that resemble stroke patients. This condition is often the beginning for a real stroke in the future.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a momentary ischemic attack can lower your life expectancy by 20 percent. Immediate medical attention is needed to help prevent the risk of stroke.

What are the symptoms of a momentary ischemic attack?

Identifying symptoms of a momentary ischemic attack is not easy. Symptoms are similar to stroke, but many people make the mistake of not seeking medical attention because the symptoms are not too severe and not last long. If a stroke can last for one to two days, a transient ischemic attack may last from one to 24 hours at a time.

Vision problems

Some of the common signs of a momentary ischemic attack include:

  • Increased sudden blood pressure
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness in hands or feet
  • Dizzy
  • Sudden fatigue
  • Unconsciousness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of memory for a moment
  • Tingling body
  • Change of personality
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Lack of balance
  • Vision problems

Many of these symptoms are experienced by stroke patients. Always contact the emergency department if you suspect you or someone near you has had a momentary ischemic attack or stroke.

What are the causes and triggers for a moment of ischemic attack?

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the most common cause of mini stroke. Hypertension is also a major cause of stroke, so a momentary ischemic attack is often a warning of a true stroke. It is important to control your blood pressure immediately to prevent future transient ischemic attacks and strokes.

High cholesterol

Other common causes and risk factors include:

  • Blood clots
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Narrow blood vessels around the brain
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heredity

According to the AHA, people aged 65 years and older are at a higher risk of death from stroke after a moment of ischemic attack.

How do doctors diagnose a momentary ischemic attack?

The condition of a momentary ischemic attack should get emergency medical help. The doctor will run a test to confirm whether you are experiencing a momentary ischemic attack. Scan computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide clues as to what causes a momentary ischemic attack correctly. For example, it could be caused by a blocked artery in the heart or a blood clot in the neck.

If your doctor suspects a problem with your heart, he may order an echocardiogram test to get a better picture of the suspect area. It is important to study the cause of a momentary ischemic attack so that you and your doctor can work to prevent a momentary ischemic attack and stroke in the future.

Once you are evaluated in the emergency room, you need to visit your primary doctor to plan treatment. You may be referred to a specialist, but this depends on the exact cause of your mini stroke.

If I have experienced TIA, how can I prevent a stroke in the future?

The condition of a momentary ischemic attack generally does not cause permanent brain damage. However, the patient should not underestimate the ischemic attack for a moment. A momentary ischemic attack often indicates an underlying health problem that can cause a real stroke in the future. More than 10 percent of TIA patients also had a stroke within a period of three months. It is important to take mini strokes seriously to prevent possible life-threatening illnesses.

Control high blood pressure

Treatment will also help to prevent future strokes. General prevention plans include:

  • Treatment to control high blood pressure
  • Cholesterol drugs
  • Control of blood sugar in diabetic patients
  • Aspirin to prevent blood clotting
  • Surgery for clogged arteries in the neck


If your doctor prescribes medication, you may need to use it for a long period of time to prevent a stroke. Regular follow-up to your doctor is also required to monitor your condition. Lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and exercise, can also complement a stroke treatment and prevention plan.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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