According to an article published by WebMD, a recent study suggests that most people who experience minor strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIA’s) do not recognize their symptoms and/or do not seek timely medical attention.A stroke is generally defined as an interruption of blood flow to the brain.
Strokes can be divided into two categories: hemorrhagic strokes and ischemic strokes. TIA is a condition that manifests itself with stroke-like symptoms for less than 24 hours. TIA does not by itself result in lasting neurological damage. However, people who experience TIA episodes often develop strokes. According to the article, one in 20 patients with TIA will develop a major stroke.
After interviewing about 1000 patients, researchers concluded that about 70% of the patients did not recognize TIA or minor stroke symptoms and that less than half of the patients with these conditions sought medical attention within three hours from the onset of symptoms.
If you are at an increased risk for developing a stroke, ask your doctor for information on TIA and stroke symptoms. Early medical intervention is key in treating stokes. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with some of the TIA/stroke symptoms.
According to the article, people who experience minor strokes may develop one or more of the following:
- sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs, especially on one side of the body
- sudden trouble speaking or understanding
- sudden vision problems in one or both eyes
- dizziness, loss of balance, or sudden trouble walking
- severe headache with no obvious cause
Remember – time is of the essence in getting treatment. Certain therapies (e.g. tPA) simply can not be administered to you if too many hours pass.