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Understanding The Warning Signs Of TIA And Taking The Necessary Actions

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A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a variant of stroke. Senior health experts say that TIA is sometimes
referred to as mini-stroke as it can lead to stroke-like symptoms. Some transient ischemic attacks can
last only a few minutes and some can last for a few hours. Usually, when a person experiences TIA, their
stroke symptoms can go away after some time.

Types Of Stroke

Ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes are two different types of strokes. A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by
the bursting of a weak blood vessel in the brain. On the other hand, clots of blood blocking the arteries
supplying blood to the brain can lead to an ischemic stroke. TIAs are a type of ischemic stroke.
As ischemic strokes and TIAs have similar causes, their symptoms can also be similar. The duration and
damage caused are what make a transient ischemic attack different. A TIA can last for a few hours or for
a few minutes and usually does not have any lasting effects on the person, whereas an ischemic stroke
lasts longer and can lead to permanent damage to the brain of the sufferer.
It is very important to understand and recognize the signs and symptoms of a TIA or a stroke on time
and take necessary actions. As per senior living experts, a TIA is a serious medical event. If the stroke is a
transient ischemic attack and resolves, your loved one may be at an increased risk of a more severe
attack. Therefore, if your senior loved one starts showing any signs of stroke, seek medical help
immediately. Some of the most common warning signs of stroke and transient ischemic attacks are
shared below for your knowledge.

Warning Signs Of Stroke And TIA

Thinking of the short form FAST is an easy way to memorize the warning signs of a stroke attack.

 Face: Drooping of the eyes and lips on one side or facial drooping is a clear sign of stroke. If you
find that the face of your senior loved one has a droop, ask the person to purse their lips or
smile. If you find that only half of their face moves, their facial droop might be caused by a
stroke or a TIA.
 Arms: Weakness on a side of the body is common during a stroke or a TIA. If your senior loved
one is experiencing symptoms of a stroke and weakness in arms, you can ask the person to lift
both arms straight in front of their body. Watch to see if one arm drifts down, does not lift or if
the person is not able to hold the arm in place.
 Speech: A person experiencing a stroke can have difficulty speaking. Their words can be slurred,
difficult to understand, etc. If you find that your senior loved one is experiencing stroke
symptoms, you can ask the person to repeat a sentence. If they repeat the sentence with
confusing slurred speech, the person might be experiencing a stroke.
 Time: If your senior loved one is experiencing any of the above symptoms, time is of the
essence! You need to ensure immediate medical help by calling 911.

Apart from the above warning signs, there are some other symptoms that can denote that your senior
loved one is experiencing a stroke. These are:
 Blurred vision
 Difficulty balancing or coordinating
 Difficulty in understanding what others are saying
 Severe headache
 Numbness

Implications Of A TIA

Most TIA sufferers will experience the attack for less than an hour and may not have any serious
aftereffects. However, a TIA is a serious warning sign of an ischemic stroke and statistics show that one
third of all people experiencing TIA go on to have a full ischemic stroke. Senior living experts say that the
risk of a full ischemic stroke is especially high up to forty-eight hours after a transient ischemic attack. As
it is very difficult to tell the difference between a stroke and a TIA, all types of stroke symptoms should
be addressed by a medical professional.

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