A mini stroke or transient ischemic attack occurs once the blood flow to the brain is briefly blocked. It often results to symptoms that are strikingly comparable to a stroke but these eventually settle between 2-24 hours. The difference with a stroke is that a mini stroke does not have any lasting effects but there are short-term effects that you should be familiar with.
During and right after a mini stroke, the individual can suffer from unusual changes to his/her vision or visual field. The individual might have blurred or double vision or briefly lose part of the visual field. In addition, it can also result to brief blindness in one or both eyes.
A mini stroke can also cause sensations in the skin such as “pins and needles” or complete numbness, usually on one side of the body.
It has also been reported that it can also alter the way sensations are felt, thus making it hard to distinguish cold from hot or interpreting feelings of pressure or pain. The start of the changes in sensation is usually abrupt.
After a mini stroke, the individual might have difficulty in coordinating movements. This includes difficulty with fine motor skills such as fastening buttons and writing as well as gross motor tasks such as walking and standing.
It can also cause issues with balance which makes the individual unsteady while on his/her feet. In addition, vertigo can cause an individual to become clumsy.
The muscle strength of the individual might be affected during and after a mini stroke. The start of the muscle weakness is often abrupt and only affects one side of the body. A mini stroke can trigger anything from mild muscular weakness or even full paralysis of the limb. The weakness might be present in the leg, arm or face or all parts.
An abrupt, intense headache might be one of the initial indications of a mini stroke. It is often a warning sign of a mini stroke or a full-blown stroke. Just like with the other symptoms, the headache settles within several hours.
An episode can cause brief confusion such as difficulty solving problems or memory issues. In addition, an individual with mini stroke might have difficulty speaking or understanding others. In addition, he/she might also act strangely with behavioral or personality changes.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on mini stroke is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage mini stroke by taking a standard first aid course with Mississauga First Aid.