What You Should Know About a Mini-Stroke

What You Should Know About a Mini-Stroke

Understand that the symptoms of a mini-stroke are the same as those of a stroke. Mini-strokes are an unfortunate possibility for many people living with chronic conditions. Still, an excellent cardiologist can make a difference in your chances of having a stroke, and the outcome, if you do. 

What is a mini-stroke?

Like a regular stroke, a mini-stroke occurs when blood flow is interrupted to the brain, spinal cord, or retina. In a mini-stroke, the interruption is brief or temporary; in a stroke, the interruption lasts due to blockage or when a clogged blood vessel in your brain bursts. 

The only way for your brain to get the oxygen needed to survive and function properly is through the oxygenation of blood. Without its steady flow, your brain cells begin to die. 

The death of brain cells is what makes strokes so dangerous. Mini-strokes, however, do not involve the death of your brain cells — their minimal damage is part of what sets them apart from regular strokes. 

Mini-strokes, also called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), aren’t just any health scare — for about one in three people, they typically precede a regular stroke, which can be crippling. 

What are my risk factors for a mini-stroke? 

Risk factors for mini-strokes mirror the risk factors for strokes. People with a family history of stroke or other vascular issues are at increased risk of suffering from a stroke. After age 55, your risk of a mini-stroke rises substantially, and men are usually at higher risk of experiencing one than women. Menopause raises women’s risk of experiencing a mini-stroke. 

With nearly a quarter-million adults experiencing mini-strokes each year in the United States, having a TIA puts you at risk for not only a stroke but another TIA, as well. Black and Indigenous people are at elevated risk of enduring a mini-stroke, with chronic conditions like sickle cell disease also being a contributing factor to your risk. 

How do I know I’ve had a mini-stroke?

While mini-strokes and strokes have the same symptoms, they differ in that the symptoms of a mini-stroke resolve within 24 hours, with some people recovering in as little as one hour. Symptoms of a mini-stroke include: 

Strokes are serious medical emergencies, and you should call 911. Even if you think that you’re only experiencing a mini-stroke, it should be treated like a stroke that can take your life. 

Strokes can be debilitating and are a cause of adult disability. Strokes can cause permanent damage that prevents you from living a normal life. Stroke complications include not only an increased risk of another stroke, but also long-term tingling, numbness, emotional issues, and memory problems.

What else should I know about a mini-stroke?

It’s important to remember that being at risk for a mini-stroke doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have one, and Dr. Avaricio can work with you to reduce your risk of a mini-stroke. With proper monitoring and specific lifestyle changes, we can help protect your longevity from the dangers of a mini-stroke. 

If you have any risk factors for stroke, we understand that you may have questions about your health and the potential for problems. Dr. Avaricio can help. Schedule an appointment with him at Advanced Cardiac Care PLLC today.

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