A Transient Ischemic Attack is a blockage of the flow of blood to the brain that lasts temporarily. It is also referred to as a mini-stroke as the symptoms are the same. Unlike a full-fledged stroke, it does not cause any permanent damage but is still a serious condition. A TIA is typically the bodies way of alerting to other problems or more strokes to come. The attack is usually over in a matter of minutes, but being hospitalized is imperative. Diagnosing the problem and preventing a serious stroke are vital in the days following a TIA.
The symptoms of a transient ischemic attack are very similar if not identical to those of a life-threatening stroke. Numbness and paralysis of the face, arm, or down an entire side of the body can occur. Slurred speech, blurred vision, and sudden inability to understand others are also signs. Patients make experience complete blindness or double vision. A severe headache out of nowhere and loss of balance are other symptoms. The attacks come on suddenly and usually only last for a few minutes to an hour.