Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is a milder form of a stroke. Transient Ischemic Attacks have the same symptoms of a stroke, but it does not last as long or create the same amount of damage as a stroke. Sometimes TIA is called a ministroke. It is easy to ignore the symptoms because it does not last, but TIA is a warning sign. If you do not get treated right away, you will end up having a stroke. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Preventing a stroke can not only prevent damage but save your life.
Transient Ischemic Attack has a direct effect on your arteries. The brain operates on blood and oxygen. If these things cannot get to the brain, you will have something similar to a heart attack but in the brain. Strokes may also be called brain attacks. When the arteries are blocked or clogged, you limit blood and oxygen to the brain. The carotid artery is the blood vessel that supplies the brain with the blood it needs. The artery may also rupture leading to stroke. TIA happens because of a temporary blockage. Blood vessel rupture cannot cause TIA because that is not a temporary thing. That has long lasting effects; therefore, it leads directly to stroke. The blockage can be fat deposits or blood clots. More often than not, blood clots are the problem. TIA is a milder form of stroke that causes symptoms similar to a stroke.
When you are experiencing TIA, you have a lot of numbness and weakness. Whatever side the stroke is on, will affect which side of the body becomes weak and numb. Your speech will also begin to slur, and you may go into a confused state. One side of your mouth will also droop. The vision gets blurred, and you can become very dizzy. Walking is almost impossible because of the weakness and dizziness. Blood pressure changes drastically and tends to go up. The difference between these symptoms and stroke symptoms is that these symptoms only last for about 10-20 minutes. After that, you may feel completely normal again. It is at this time you can either continue with your day or go to the hospital. The best thing to do is seek medical attention. If you do not get treatment right away, you will end up having a stroke if not the next day, eventually.
When you go to the doctor, they will do quite a few diagnostic test. Upon arrival, the doctor will do a physical examination. Sometimes a visual examination is enough to confirm a diagnosis. If the attack is over before reaching the doctor, they will ask you about your symptoms and assess you. The next step is diagnostic testing. CT scans, as well as MRIs and MRAs, help the doctor see if there is any blockage in the artery as well as if there are any blood clots. The doctor will also check the heart to see if there are problems in the heart causing TIA. Ultrasounds are also very effective. With the ultrasound, you can see and hear the blood flow. If there are clots, it will be noticeable.
The next step is treatment. If you are in the midst of the attack when you reach the hospital, aspirin will be administered to help blood flow. In most cases, aspirin is enough for ischemic attacks. They may administer a stronger drug to get the blood flowing much quicker. If the clot is large and may burst, surgery is the next step. The doctor may have to surgically put the medication into the brain with a catheter. This will break up the clot much quicker. Sometimes the clot has to be removed immediately, especially if it is traveling or at the point of rupture. After you are stable, the next step for you is preventing further clots.
The doctor will suggest methods for reducing future transient ischemic attacks or strokes. If the arteries are clogged, they may have you undergo surgery to remove the plaques that have built up inside the artery. If you are dealing with plaques, your biggest problem is your diet. You have to eat better to avoid those fatty deposits from entering the blood stream. If the source of the problem is blood clots, you may have to take blood thinners. Blood thinners are helpful in keeping you from having blood clots in the future. The problem with blood thinners is that you have to be very careful not to injure yourself. Even the smallest of cuts will bleed much longer than usual. Whatever the doctor suggest for long-term care, you should listen and do it.
Transient Ischemic Attacks are not as serious as strokes but need just as much attention. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The symptoms may only last for a little while, but a stroke is soon approaching. TIA is almost like coming to a railroad stop. If you do not take heed to the warning signs of an oncoming train, you will get hit. This is how TIA works. If you do not pay attention to the signs, you will end up having a stroke which can be life threatening. Do not ignore the signs from your body. Do what you have to do. It could save your life.
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