TIA, or transient ischemic attack, is a “mini stroke” that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a brief time. The only difference between a stroke and TIA is that with TIA, the blockage is transient (temporary). TIA symptoms occur rapidly and last a relatively short time. Unlike a stroke, when a TIA is over, there is no permanent injury to the brain.
A transient ischemic attack can serve as both a warning of a future stroke and an opportunity to prevent it. If you think you’re having a TIA or a mini-stroke, your symptoms may resolve quickly, but it is not safe to assume this. In fact, you should call 911 right away. Seeking medical attention emergently following a possible TIA is essential. Prompt evaluation and identification of potentially treatable conditions may help you prevent a stroke.
- Between 7 and 40 percent of patients who are treated for a blockage-related stroke (or ischemic stroke) report experiencing a TIA first.
- About 240,000 Americans experience a TIA every year.
- Warning strokes are often followed by more severe strokes. About one-third of the people who have a TIA go on to have a more severe stroke within a year.
The warning signs for a TIA are the same as a stroke and sudden onset of the following:
- Weakness, numbness or paralysis on one side of your body
- Slurred speech or difficulty understanding others
- Blindness in one or both eyes or double vision
- Dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
Educate yourself on the warning signs of stroke — and do it F.A.S.T.
F – Face drooping
A – Arm weakness
S – Speech slurred
T – Time to call 911