Is It a Stroke or Mini Stroke? Know the Signs and Symptoms

There are few things as dangerous to a person as a stroke. Strokes are killers and need immediate medical treatment. While many people do know some of the signs of stroke, there’s more than they realize. To compound matters, there are also what is commonly known as “mini-strokes”. These strokes last only for a short period and make noticing symptoms more difficult.

Since stroke is such a major risk to life, treatment is vital. Anyone who has stroke symptoms should be contacting 911 and getting assistance from a hospital. When it comes to mini strokes, the symptoms and signs are sometimes more difficult. Regardless, quick diagnosis and treatment is the way to save a person from serious problems.

Stroke Symptoms in Men and Women

There are different types of strokes, but the most common is an ischemic stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain. When it comes to recognizing a stroke, the abbreviation “FAST” typically comes to mind. It’s an easy way to remember to check a person’s face, arms and speech. The final letter stands for time and is a reminder that time is of the essence. Move quickly and call 911. The stroke symptoms people look for include:

  • Numbness - People with a stroke will typically feel one half of their face and/or body go numb or be incredibly weak. This can sometimes result in falls as well.
  • Confusion - People can have issues understanding the people around are unable to communicate with each other.
  • Sight Problems - People have have issues seeing out of one or sometimes both eyes.
  • Headache - This is a severe headache, often described as the worst headache a person will ever get.
  • Walking Problems - This can manifest as a loss of coordination or as a loss of balance and dizziness.

Mini Stroke (TIA) Signs and Symptoms

While a stroke is a life changing and big moment, many people suffer from something that’s known as a transient ischemic attack. These are momentary or very short moments when a brain doesn't get the amount of blood that it should be. This lack of blood flow doesn’t cause a permanent problem, but instead some temporary symptoms that may be harder to recognize as they go away quickly. Many people just dismiss them as a passing issue. Getting treatment early is important. People need to look out for these symptoms:

  • Vision Changes - People may have issues with their vision becoming blurry or not working briefly.
  • Speech Problems - This can manifest as an inability to remember the words you want to use, or physical trouble when trying to speak.
  • Dizziness/Balance - Many people may feel dizzy or unable to keep their feet with their sense of balance. It’s also possible for people to pass out.
  • Senses Altered - It’s possible for abnormal smells and tastes to appear very briefly during a mini stroke.
  • Confusion - Mental processes may not be as quick as normal and some people feel very confused about their environment.
  • Weak/Numb - A person may feel the characteristic stroke weakness on one half of their body. They could also feel just numb.

Treatment Plans

The kind of treatment received will depend. For a full stroke, the first step is almost always emergency treatment. Brain scans will determine exactly what has happened. Medications may be used to try to stop the blood clot that caused the stroke in the first place. If that doesn’t work, there is a variety of surgical options which may immediately be required.

When it comes to mini strokes, treatment is a bit different. The goal is to ensure that these don’t lead to a full stroke. Treatment will be centered around determining why the mini strokes are happening and fix this. It will typically involve using a class of drug to deal with the blockages or clots that are likely the cause. There are also some minor surgeries which may be chosen to prevent a future stroke.

Regardless, lifestyle changes are going to be part of treatment/recovery. People who have a stroke will generally need to improve their exercise and fitness levels. Improve their diet with less fried food and more vegetables is a certainty. Trying to find ways to reduce stress can be a huge part of things.

Disclaimer: The articles on this website are not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor are they meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Treatment or advice used by a reader may have varying results, as each individual is different. Any article reader with a health-related question, is encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider. The articles on this website should not be used to disregard any medical or health-related advice, nor should they be the root cause for delay in seeing a doctor or a certified health provider.

The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.

Other Articles