Signs & Symptoms of a Ministroke

Six Signs & Symptoms of a Ministroke

It’s the lesser-known relative of the stroke: a ministroke. A transient ischemic attack, or ministroke, is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain.  According to the ASA, “about 240,000 Americans experience a TIA every year.”

Although this is a temporary occurrence, a TIA is often a sign that a larger stroke is on the horizon. Thus, it’s imperative that you arm yourself with the knowledge of the ministroke, and be able to recognize the symptoms should you, or a loved one, undergo a TIA. 

The following will explore six common signs and symptoms that can be witnessed after a ministroke!

1. Confusion

One of the most common symptoms of a ministroke is a general feeling of disorientation or confusion. Many people describe the feeling as though they are witnessing themselves out of their body.

2. Weakness or numbness of the limbs

If you have suffered a TIA, you may feel a general numbness in your arms or legs. This often occurs on only one side of the body. Thus, if someone is unable to lift both of their arms over their head, they may have just undergone a TIA. 

3. Spontaneous Headache

Another sign of a TIA is the onset of a spontaneous headache. The lack of oxygen to the brain manifests itself in a searing pain within the head, causing a migraine that is seemingly from nowhere. 

4. Compromised Vision

Ministrokes tend to alter a person’s vision. This can manifest in blurred sight, or even seeing double. If there is a sudden change in someone’s vision capabilities, they could have just undergone a ministroke.

5. Abnormal Smells and Sensory Responses

When someone undergoes a TIA, there can be a replication of phantom sensations, called phantosmia. Although scientists do not have a clear understanding as to why this occurs, there is a belief that it is caused by damaged brain cells. Thus, someone who just underwent a sudden change in their senses may have just had a TIA.

6. Slurred Speech

Another indicator of a TIA is slurred speech, or if someone has a general difficulty speaking. This is called dysphasia, and it is proof that something is damaging the nervous system. When a mini-stroke occurs, the lack of oxygen in the brain begins depriving the brain cells of sustenance. If this deprivation manifests in the cerebrum, there is a high likelihood that speech will be affected.

If you’re concerned about the well being of your loved one, consider hiring a home care nurse to assist with their care.