Mini strokes are a serious health problem that you become more susceptible and vulnerable to in the later stages of your life. By understanding what mini-stroke is and what it entails, you can proactively take the steps to prevent or mitigate the effects of mini-stroke. The severity of this dangerous neurological dysfunction means that learning and understanding the mini-stroke symptoms in the elderly can make you a literal lifesaver in the future!
What Is a Mini-Stroke?
A mini-stroke, true to its name, is similar to a stroke, which we are more familiar with. A mini-stroke, also known as a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is identical to a stroke, being an attack on the brain that occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted due to blockage and other causes. However, this condition is defined by how its symptoms last for a short amount of time, due to the blockage causing the episode to only be temporary, making it essentially a mini version of stroke. Mini-stroke doesn’t damage any brain cells nor does it cause permanent disability. However, you shouldn’t underestimate how dangerous it is, as one in three people who experience a mini-stroke eventually experience a full-blown stroke.
Symptoms of Mini-Stroke
The symptoms of a mini-stroke are also similar to a stroke, which can be incredibly concerning considering how the similarities make it difficult to discern whether you or a loved one are suffering from a mini-stroke or a full stroke, making it an unpredictable situation. However, one factor that mini-stroke and stroke differ in is the duration that the symptoms last, mini-strokes usually show symptoms for a shorter time. While mini-strokes typically last for only a few minutes, the symptoms can last for up to an excruciating 24 hours. The most common symptoms of mini-stroke include:
- Slurring in speech
- Challenges in comprehending speech
- Balancing issues
- Seeing double
- Numbness, weakness on a single side of the body
Risk Factors of Mini-Stroke
Certain risk factors can make an older adult more vulnerable to mini-strokes, which can lead to full-blown strokes. Some of the risk factors to account for and avoid to lower your chances of suffering from a mini-stroke are:
- Family history of stroke
- Excessive consumption of tobacco and alcohol
- High cholesterol
- Illnesses such as diabetes and carotid artery disease
Treatment of Mini-Stroke
Treatment of mini-stroke is important in preventing the possibility of a major stroke. An untreated mini-stroke is dangerous due to the high likelihood of experiencing a major stroke within the next three months of the mini-stroke episode. Professional help facilitates the analysis of potential causes in a patient’s mini-stroke episodes thanks to a series of diagnostic tests such as MRI scans. In terms of treatment methods, patients will usually be prescribed blood thinners and aspirin for long-term use, preventing blood clots from forming in the brain.
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