Mini stroke signs and symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of a full stroke except that the effects of a mini stroke generally disappear in less than 24 hours with no lasting brain damage. A mini stroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA) occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked by a blood clot—temporarily cutting off the brain’s blood supply to the affected area. A TIA is often a warning that conditions leading to a larger stroke may be building in the body. Because the symptoms of a temporary mini stroke are so much like a more dangerous larger stroke, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as symptoms begin. What are some of the signs and symptoms of a mini stroke or TIA?
- Numbness. Numbness associated with a stroke or mini stroke affects the face, arms or legs. Generally the numbness is noticed on only one side of the body.
- Weakness. Heaviness or weakness in the arms or legs are also symptoms of a mini stroke. As with numbness, the weak feeling may only be felt on one side of the body.
- Confusion. A sudden inability to understand speech or focus thoughts clearly may be an indication of a stroke or mini stroke. The severity of the confusion may vary, and may be brief with a mini stroke, but is often one of the most alarming signs that something is medically wrong.
- Difficulty Speaking. Depending on the area of the brain affected by the mini stroke and the other symptoms present, sufferers may have difficulty speaking or correctly forming words. In some cases common words may be spoken clearly—but, used incorrectly or improperly ordered in sentences.
- Dizziness or Loss of Balance. An immediate bout of dizziness or loss of balance is not as noticeable as some of the other symptoms of a stroke. In fact, if it were mild, brief and not accompanied by other symptoms, temporary dizziness may be ignored by many sufferers.
- Loss of Coordination. Gross motor skills, fine motor skills or both may be impacted by a mini stroke. The condition is often most characterized by a temporary loss of the body's common normal abilities and functions.
- Vision Disturbances. Vision difficulties, such as blurred vision, are often a sign of a mini stroke. As with numbness or weakness, vision disturbances may affect only one eye or both.
- Difficulty Walking. A sudden difficulty standing or coordinating the body to walk is a sign of a stroke. While many stroke symptoms may be more subtle, the sudden loss of a second nature motor skill such as walking is an alarming indication that is difficult to ignore.
- A Sudden Unexplained Fall. With a sudden mini-stroke, the symptoms may strike rapidly leading to an unexplained fall or an immediate loss of balance and motor function. The sudden fall will likely be accompanied by other symptoms as well.
- Severe headache. Sudden onset of a severe headache is a common symptom of a mini stroke. The headache begins and worsens suddenly with no other obvious cause.
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