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A Transient Ischemic Attack or “mini stroke” happens when the blood supply in the brain is interrupted and stops briefly. These attacks are known as “mini” strokes because they can lead to major strokes if left untreated. TIAs are different from Strokes in that they do not kill brain tissue. After a TIA, the blockage in the brain breaks up quickly and dissolves within a few minutes to a day. It is easy to dismiss a TIA, as it can happen quickly and may not seem significant at all because the symptoms resolve. However, it is very important to get medical help as soon as possible in order to prevent a major stroke from happening.
Who is at risk for TIA?
Senior Citizens, ages sixty to eighty, are among the greatest at risk for TIAs. Others at great risk include those with:
- A Family History of TIAs/ Strokes
- High Blood Pressure
- Atrial Fibrillation (or irregular heart rhythms)
- High cholesterol
- Poor blood flow
- Extreme weight gain or Obesity
What are the signs of TIAs?
TIAs and Stroke symptoms often appear the same. One of the most important things to remember in the case of a TIA or Stroke is that the signs will appear suddenly and out-of-the blue. These symptoms include:
- Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Falling, loss of balance or coordination
- Changes in the senses (including hearing, seeing, touching or tasting)
- Confusion, memory loss, trouble speaking and understanding
- Nausea, vomiting
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Loss of consciousness, sleepiness and coma
Are their different types of Transient Ischemic Attacks?
Yes, there are different types of TIAs depending on where the blood flow is interrupted. Two specific TIAs are:
Drop Attacks, which occur when the blockage of blood flow happens at the base of the brain, causing the person to suddenly fall to the floor.
Amaurosis Fugax, which occurs when the blockage of blood flow happens at the main artery of the neck, causing blocked arteries to the retina of the corresponding eye. This causes a temporary vision loss to one of the eyes.
What should you do if you think someone around you is having a TIA or Stroke?
The National Stroke Association advises to remember to Act F.A.S.T.
F is for Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the Face droop?
A is for Arms. Ask the person to raise their arms. Does one arm drift lower than the other arm?
S is for Speech. Ask the person to say a simple sentence. Is the person’s speech slurred? Are they unable to say the sentence?
T is for Time. If the person experiences any of these unusual symptoms, contact a medical professionally immediately.
Foods to prevent TIA and strokes?
A Senior Citizen should be cautious about the foods they eat after a TIA, especially if the person has high cholesterol, high blood pressure or is overweight. Getting the proper amount of vegetables and fruits, eating lean protein and whole grains, and limiting sodium is crucial.
What medications might a Doctor prescribe for a TIA?
Blood thinners such as Coumadin or aspirin may be prescribed after a TIA. A doctor may also need to prescribe medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes.
The new blood clot busting drug t-PA can be given in an emergency treatment for a stroke. This can greatly improve the motor and mental functions of a person after a stroke.
At Discovery Commons At Wildewood, we provide opportunities and experiences for all of our Senior Citizens to live a healthy lifestyle and fully engage in the community around them. We have health care professionals on-site to monitor health conditions, providing our Seniors with great care and attention. Our Wellness programs and Gourmet Meals can be individually designed to meet a Senior Citizen’s health needs and requirements. Come visit one of our locations to learn more.
Discovery Commons At Wildewood is a world-class senior living community in California, Maryland. We offer a variety of living options for your needs, including Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Respite Care. To receive more information or schedule an appointment to experience our wonderful lifestyle, contact us online or call 301.863.7110