TIA is an abbreviation for a type of mini-stroke technically referred to as a transient ischemic attack. These types of strokes are often ignored because the symptoms pass quickly. A TIA, however, should never be discounted because they serve as major red flags that, physically, something serious is going on. Even though the symptoms may leave relatively quickly, the conditions that led up to the stroke are still present, and these conditions should be addressed by a physician. Transient ischemic attacks can happen at any time, produce stroke-like symptoms that leave quickly, are often disregarded, and are a sign that a major stoke can soon occur.
When a TIA occurs, blood flow to the brain is temporarily cut-off, causing stroke-like symptoms such as numbness in the hands or arms, drooping on one side of the face, or difficulty speaking. This can be alarming as the symptoms occur suddenly, but because the symptoms leave within a few minutes (usually about five minutes), you might be tempted to ignore them. Nevertheless, if you suffer a TIA, even if symptoms disappear, you should go immediately to an emergency room or call 911. While a TIA is not a full-blown stroke, it is a warning that a full-blown stroke may be right around the corner. In a nutshell, a TIA needs immediate medical attention.
According to the CDC,
- Within a year following a TIA, approximately a third of the people who did not seek medical treatment experience a major stroke, and
- About 15% of these people will experience a major stroke within three months.
It’s clear from these statistics that having a TIA means a call to 911 or an immediate visit to an emergency room is essential. Often people may be reluctant to go to the ER since, on the surface, a TIA may not seem dangerous. After all, the symptoms left within a few minutes, and, now, ‘everything feels normal.’ However, if you suffer numbness, face drooping, or slurred speech, even if it is only for a few minutes, be certain to make that visit to the ER.
Depending on your evaluation, your physician may recommend anti-coagulation, anti-platelet, or blood thinner medications. Also, based on your diagnosis, your medical team may recommend surgical interventions such as balloon angioplasty or stents. These steps are designed to reduce factors that could bring on a future stroke.
TIA’s should never be ignored. If you have one, then you should call 911 or go immediately to the closest ER, such as any of the five Emergency Hospital System’s emergency room’s located in Cleveland (2), Porter, Spring, or Humble. We are located in our communities for your convenience and for easy, round-the-clock access. Even if your symptoms have disappeared, you should be examined by a physician who will determine your next steps. Proper diagnosis and treatment are critical in any emergency. This is especially true if you have experienced a TIA.
Emergency Hospital System’s ERs are open 24/7/365 with plenty of close-by, free parking. Walk-ins are welcomed, or if you prefer, appointments can be made by calling our front office, 281-592-5400. Even though the symptoms of a TIA may disappear quickly, the condition is serious and should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Go to a nearby emergency room, call 911, or visit an Emergency Hospital Systems ER for an evaluation and treatment, 281-592-5400.