A transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini stroke, can cause frightening symptoms. This attack occurs when blood flow within a person's brain is blocked or decreased. Mini stroke symptoms are similar to a stroke, but the effects are temporary. Experiencing a mini stroke is usually a sign that a person will soon suffer a stroke. Mini stroke symptoms include blurry vision, numbness, confusion, dizziness, speech difficulties, and the inability to move a limb on one side of the body.
Mini strokes are commonly caused by a blood clot. These blood clots can form in the blood vessels, heart, or other part of the body. A mini stroke can also be caused by the formation of plaque in the arteries. Both blood clots and plaque interfere with the flow of blood and can cause transient ischemic attack.
When a person has mini stroke symptoms, he or she should seek immediate medical attention. This is necessary because there is no way to detect if the symptoms are temporary or the result of a stroke. If a doctor believes that a patient is suffering from a mini stroke or stroke, he or she will order a series of tests.
One test commonly administered is called a computed tomography (CT) scan. This type of test examines the brain and can detect the presence of bleeding. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is another exam that can determine if the patient's brain has suffered a stroke. Other tests, including blood tests and electrocardiograms (EKGs) may also be administered to the patient who is experiencing mini stroke symptoms.
Depending on the condition of the patient, several treatments may be required. Some patients may be prescribed blood-clotting medication that prevents a mini stroke from reoccurring. Patients with a more severe condition may require surgery to remove blockage from the arteries. Those who have other diseases that have contributed to the mini stroke will be prescribed medication to treat these conditions.
Preventing a mini stroke may be possible if patients receive regular medical checkups. A doctor can help patients control high blood pressure, a medical condition that can cause a stroke or transient ischemic attack. Maintaining low cholesterol levels and controlling heart disease are two other ways to prevent a mini stroke. Other diseases that can cause blood clots should be carefully monitored by a doctor to avoid the dangers of a stroke as well. Another important way to prevent strokes and mini strokes is to avoid smoking, as smoking can contribute to a mini stroke or stroke.