A transient ischemic attack (TIA), often called a “mini-stroke,” is frequently overlooked by people, with only 3 percent seeking medical care despite one in three American adults experiencing TIA symptoms, according to a 2017 American Heart Association study. Following a TIA, there’s a 10 percent risk of a full-blown stroke within three months, with the highest risk occurring within the first 48 hours to seven days. A TIA is characterized by temporary brain dysfunction due to a brief blood flow interruption, differentiating it from a stroke with lasting damage. Even when TIA symptoms rapidly resolve, doctors advises immediate medical attention if they are severe, new, or distinct from previous experiences, as neglecting them can lead to serious consequences without a definitive alternative explanation. Here are the most common mini stroke signs and symptoms people can experience, as well as first hand experiences from Redditors.
Sudden, Severe Headache
A sudden, severe headache can serve as an important symptom indicating a mini-stroke. In these instances, individuals should promptly seek medical attention. While many people may attribute such headaches to common causes like tension or migraines, it is best to recognize that a TIA-related headache can signify an underlying issue, such as a temporary interruption of blood flow to the brain. Ignoring this symptom can lead to serious consequences, as it may be a warning sign of an impending major stroke, which could result in permanent and debilitating damage. Therefore, recognizing and acting upon a severe headache as a potential TIA symptom can be a lifesaving measure.