Healthy Living

What Is a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)?

Stroke

What Is a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)?

Key Takeaways

  • Vision changes
  • Speech difficulties
  • Confusion
  • Having balance issues
  • Numbness 
  • Weakness
  • Tingling sensation
  • Muscular weakness on one side of the body

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is type of the disease and it drops the blood supply to the brain temporarily. This is due to various reasons. It can make the brain deprive from the oxygen. The person gets stroke which is stroke like situations. Though it does not last long.

The transient ischemic attack" (TIA) is also called mini stroke. The stroke does not last long. According to medical study, it is found out that about 550,000 people suffer from the disease every year in USA. The symptoms of the disease fade away completely and most of the students do not seek any medical help at all. But it is also found that nearly 15 percent of people who have the TIA problem because most of the people serious suffered by the disease.

This is the reason why the symptoms of TIA are needed to be recognized. The other reason why TIA patients look for permanent cure of the disease because, most of the people who had the stroke, can try getting treatments in the specially designed and well equipped emergency rooms. The TIA clinics are more reliable and can easily treat the patients well.

The symptoms of a TIA (mini-stroke) are:

  • Reasons and causes
  • Risk factors involved
  • Treatment and cure
  • Diagnosis
  • Preventing disease

This condition is also known as a "mini-stroke". It is a type of stroke that occurs when the brain experiences temporary insufficiency of blood flow. TIA triggers stroke-like symptoms that go away within a day (24 hours). Unlike stroke, transient ischemic stroke does not kill the tissues of the brain or cause permanent disabilities. The symptoms of stroke and that of TIA are identical. Therefore, it is vital that you seek immediate medical attention to establish if it is TIA or stroke.

Establishing the signs and symptoms of TIA can assist in getting the right treatment as soon as possible. Remember, one in every three people who experience TIA WILL experience a stroke. Therefore, it is essential to seek immediate treatment if you suspect that a person is suffering from TIA.

The main facts related to the TIA are:

The mini-stroke which occurs while then blood gets temporarily cut off from the brain.

More than 550,000 of people in USA are suffering from the stroke every year.

The instant response system and rapid care is required to minimize medical implications of a stroke.

The objective of TIA treatment is to prevent the disease completely.

The most useful drug used while treating TYIA patients is warfarin which is an anticoagulant medication.

How long does a TIA last?

TIA is not a fatal condition. In fact, the symptoms will last for a minute and fade way the moment your doctor arrives. Therefore, the symptoms won’t be present while your doctor is evaluating your condition. Thus, it is vital that you describe what happened and the symptoms you witnessed.

What are the symptoms of TIA?

TIA is easily considered a minor condition due to the fleeting nature of the condition’s symptoms as well as the absence of an enduring damage. However, that is untrue. It may seem difficult identifying if one had a TIA, but certain symptoms will still show. These symptoms include:

  • Vision changes
  • Speech difficulties
  • Confusion
  • Having balance issues
  • Numbness 
  • Weakness
  • Tingling sensation
  • Muscular weakness on one side of the body

The acronym FAST denotes the symptoms of TIA.

The symptoms of a TIA are defined as FAST (Face, Arms, Speech, Time):

Face:

Face may get affected due to the paralysed attack during the TIA stroke

The person may lose his control over the body and his face hangs. His mouth may drop and eyes get shut. The person cannot either smile or talk.

Arms:

The arm of the person become weak and they get numb completely. The weakness or the numbness sometime make the movement of the arms difficult. The person may not control the arms and they either remain up in air.

Speech:

The speaking ability too gets disturbed and the person finds it difficult to speak. The person may try to speak but will get slurred and garbled.

Time:

The time is up for the patients if any one of the symptoms is present and the patient looks like having tough time. The person needs immediate help and it is the time to call the emergency services immediately.  The symptoms remain common to the people either older or younger in age. The individuals who have been suffering from diabetes and the blood pressure and who are having risk of TIA stroke should always make sure that the timely medical treatment is better than risking the life.

The other signs and symptoms of a TIA which can be included are:

  • giddiness
  • trouble in talking
  • struggle while listening to others
  • difficulty while swallowing
  • severe headache
  • feeling the body paralysed,
  • body getting numb, or
  • feeling weakness on one side of the body
  • Feeling unconscious

In case, if anyone experience these signs, then one has to be very careful with the person and he or she should be immediately taken to the hospital. The TIA symptoms are severe to look at but temporary in nature. Most of the symptoms get disappear within a span of 24 hours and it brings the situation normal.  The symptoms sometime last for 2 to 15 minute but it makes a person completely down and weak. The effect of the paralysis is mainly depending on brain.  The severity of the disease is mainly dependent on side of brain which gets affected.

Causes of a TIA

The main reason why the person gets affected by the attack of TIA is the blood vessels. The two blood vessels are carotid arteries which regularly pass the blood to the brain. The arteries get blocked suddenly and the blood to the brain is stopped completely. It makes the person unconscious the stroke of TIA can blocks the veins and make the brain go off oxygen completely.

  • Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis plays vital role in reducing the size of the arteries completely. The fatty deposits put pressure on the inner lining of blood vessels and it can cause them to become hard and rigid. It may stop the flow of blood completely. And the person gets out of consciousness.

  • Blood clots

The blood clots are highly disruptive and it can cause trouble while passing the blood through the vessels.  The blood clot can completely disturb the supply of oxygen-rich blood to other parts of blood including brain. The heart condition can be worsening such as congestive heart muscle disease or atrial fibrillation.

  • Infections

The embolism is a blood clot which moves from one part of the body to other part of the body and it can from one part of the body that becomes dislodged and travels into one of the arteries that supplies the brain. An embolism can cause a TIA.

A transient ischemic attack may also trigger:

  • A certain degree of an altered level of consciousness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • An unusual sense of taste of certain things
  • Weakness/numbness on one side of the victim’s body and face. However, the exact location of the blood clot in your brain will determine where the weakness occurs.

Preventing the occurrence of transient ischemic attack

A TIA, just like a stroke, is sometimes unavoidable. However, taking certain precautions can help prevent it. Remember, if you have ever had a TIA, you are at risk of developing a stroke.

The following are some of the precautions you can take to prevent TIA and strokes:

  • Quit Smoking: Smoking is one causes of TIA and stroke. Therefore, it is advisable to quit smoking to reduce the risk of getting TIA and stroke. Second-hand smoke should also be avoided.
  • Healthy diet: Try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. Moreover, minimize the amount of sodium you take into your body. Reduce the amount of cholesterol in your body. You can achieve this by limiting your fat intake.
  • Weight: Try maintaining a healthy BMI (body mass index) according to your height and weight.
  • Exercise: Find time to do regular exercises, preferably on a daily basis to burn out excess fats.
  • Alcohol and Drugs: Go slow on alcohol and avoid using illicit drugs such as cocaine.

If you have other underlying diseases such as diabetes, talk to your doctor about how you can manage and control it. Most importantly, ensure that your blood pressure is under control. Don’t stress yourself since stress can lead to TIA.

TIA surgery

The treatments and the surgery has become part of TIA when it comes to cure diseases. The operation is needed to be done and it is called carotid endarterectomy which involves either to remove the part of the lining of the damaged carotid artery or to alter any blockages that have accumulated in the artery.

The operation is mostly not suitable for people but it helps the arteries which have completely blocked. The partial blockage sometime does not work effectively because it does not be suitable for such procedure which could avoided due to the increasing chances of stroke during operation.

The disease is highly controllable and one can easily overcome the difficulties of TIA. You have to remain healthy and need to get nutritious food and regular exercises.