Transient Ischaemic Attacks or TIAs
Transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) are often called 'mini strokes'. The symptoms are very similar to those of a stroke but the affects are usually temporary, lasting less than 24 hours. Most people who experience TIAs fully recover within a few minutes or an hour.
Common symptoms may include:
- sudden weakness and/or numbness of face, arm and/or leg especially on one side of the body
- sudden blurred or loss of vision in one or both eyes
- sudden difficulty speaking or understanding what others are saying
- sudden dizziness, loss of balance or difficulty controlling movements.
What to do if you suspect you have had a TIA
Seek medical attention immediately. Never ignore the symptoms of a TIA even if you fully recover. It might be a warning of a future, more severe stroke, which could be prevented with treatment.
The average risk of having a stroke in the first year after a TIA is about 10 percent. But some people are at much greater risk of having a stroke within the next few days or weeks, even as much as 10 percent in the first week. The sooner a doctor is able to confirm whether it is a TIA, the sooner you can start on treatment to prevent a stroke.
Ideally, the person with a suspected TIA should go directly to hospital for an assessment by a stroke specialist as soon as possible after the suspected TIA.
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