DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A “warning stroke”, known as a transient ischemic attack or TIA, could signal a possible full-blown stroke ahead.
Doctors say sometimes the stroke-like symptoms associated with a TIA can go away within an hour.
“What that might indicate is that there was a blockage to a blood vessel in the brain that isn’t giving enough blood flow to the tissue but perhaps that blockage got better by itself,” said Duke Health Neurologist Dr. Nandini Abburi.
But you should still get help immediately.
A new report from the American Heart Assocation says stroke symptoms that go away in less than an hour still requires emergency treatment to prevent a full-blown stroke.
“Often times, if a stroke is going to happen, it might happen earlier on, like within the first week after a TIA or stroke-like symptoms, but it can happen up to three months,” said Abburi. “So, it’s important to identify any risks or risk factors that might lead to a stroke to come.”
At least 240,000 people in the U.S. have TIAs each year but the AHA says the number could be higher since symptoms can quickly disappear and not everyone gets evaluated.
Common warning signals include sudden onset of:
- Weakness, numbness or paralysis on one side of your body
- Slurred speech or difficulty understanding others
- Blindness in one or both eyes
- Severe headache with no apparent cause
Major risk factors for a TIA or stroke include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Atrial fibrillation
Dr. Abburi encourages people to watch out for warning signs and get evaluated right away.
“Even if the symptoms go away in the hospital setting, we can do certain tests to try to figure out what the risks are that somebody might have another stroke,” Abburi said.
According to the American Heart Association, anyone can have a TIA, but the risk increases with age. Stroke rates double every 10 years after age 55.