The risk of having a stroke doubles every decade you live past the age of 55. In other words, the longer you live, the more you need to be aware of your stroke risk. One warning sign of stroke risk is experiencing a mini stroke. Learn the symptoms of a mini stroke so you can detect them right away and get the help you need.
Symptoms of a Mini Stroke
Seniors need to take strokes seriously. About 75 percent of strokes take place in individuals over the age of 65, and they remain one of the leading causes of death in the United States. While only about 18 percent of strokes are fatal, the long-term physical and mental disabilities they can cause are devastating.
Because age is an unavoidable risk factor for strokes, it’s in a senior’s best interest to monitor their stroke risk. Making simple life changes like getting more exercise and quitting smoking can help, as well as being aware of factors like family history.
A stroke risk factor that you may not be aware of is a mini stroke, also known as a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). During a mini stroke, blood flow to the brain is interrupted, which can result in a variety of impairments. Unlike a regular stroke, a mini stroke will resolve itself, typically within 24 hours. However, it is important to note that one-third of people who experience mini strokes will go on to experience a significant stroke event in their lifetime. If you suspect you have had a mini stroke, you need to discuss it with your doctor right away.
But how do you know if you have had a mini stroke? The symptoms of a mini stroke are sometimes hard to detect, but here is what you should be looking for:
Difficulty Speaking or Recalling Words
One of the most well-known symptoms of strokes is dysphasia, or difficulty speaking. With a mini stroke, a patient may experience a period of time where they struggle to express themselves verbally before they recover. Sometimes, dysphasia is the only symptom of a mini stroke. Because of this, it is extremely important to seek medical attention right away if you notice that you are having speech difficulties, even if they are temporary.
Blindness or Other Sensory Issues
One of the unique symptoms of a mini stroke can be temporary blindness in one eye. This is known as Transient Monocular Blindness (TMB). If you experience a period of time where your vision in one eye becomes blurry or dimmed, a mini stroke is a likely cause. In addition, any changes to your sense of taste or smell should be taken as warning signs.
Dizziness, Tingling, or Numbness
A mini stroke can also affect the motor centers in your brain, as well as your nervous system. Periods of unexplained tingling in your extremities, or newly severe headaches, can indicate a serious issue. Seniors should also keep an eye out for periods of muscle weakness or numbness, especially if they only occur on one side of the body.
Medical Care for Mini Strokes
Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you are experiencing or have experienced a mini stroke. Do not mistake the brevity of the symptoms for a lack of importance, as they still indicate a heightened stroke risk. A mini stroke typically resolves itself within 24 hours, though it can last as briefly as 30 seconds or less. You may not even be experiencing the symptoms of a mini stroke by the time you actually get to discuss them with a doctor, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help you. Your doctor can prescribe medications that will lower your risk, and help you monitor and prevent future damage.
If you think you’ve experienced the symptoms of a mini stroke, don’t panic. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your options. Early detection of warning signs is the best way to protect yourself from strokes, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to enjoy your retirement in a lively and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to join an exercise class or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the amenities and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.