What Are the Symptoms of a TIA?

TIA stands for transient ischemic attack.

It is a kind of stroke that is often referred to as a “mini-stroke.” Unfortunately, because of the nature of the condition, many people don’t take TIAs seriously and fail to report them to their doctor. However, a TIA is anything but minor. In fact, it’s a warning sign that a more serious stroke may be coming.


Home Health Care in Daphne AL: Transient Ischemic Attack TIA's

Home Health Care in Daphne AL: Transient Ischemic Attack TIA’s



Cause of TIAs

A TIA occurs when a blood clot cuts off blood supply to part of the brain. This is the same way an ischemic stroke occurs, which is the most common kind of stroke. However, the difference between a TIA and an ischemic stroke is that the symptoms of a TIA are temporary. They go away when the blockage resolves itself, so they may last only a few minutes. A TIA also doesn’t cause any permanent damage to the brain.

TIAs typically have an underlying cause, which is usually the buildup of plaques in a blood vessel. A plaque is a clump of a fatty substance that contains cholesterol. Because the plaques impede blood flow, they can cause a blood clot to form somewhere, usually in the heart. When the blood clot breaks off and moves into a vessel that supplies the brain, a TIA can occur.


Some of the risk factors that increase the chances of having a TIA cannot be changed, like getting older. However, many of them are controllable, such as:

    • High blood pressure or cholesterol levels.
    • Cardiovascular disease.
    • Artery conditions, like carotid artery disease or peripheral artery disease.
    • Diabetes.
    • Being overweight.
    • Smoking.
    • Lack of exercise.
    • Poor diet.
    • Drinking too much alcohol.


TIA Symptoms

The symptoms of a TIA resemble those of other kinds of stroke. They include:

    • Weakness, numbness, or paralysis on one side of the body, such as in an arm, leg, or the face.
    • Speech that sounds slurred or garbled. Also, having trouble understanding others when they speak.
    • Vision problems, such as blindness in one or both eyes or seeing double.
    • Dizziness, loss of balance, or a lack of coordination.
    • A sudden and severe headache with no known cause.


The symptoms of a TIA come on suddenly and usually resolve within a few minutes to an hour. If you notice these symptoms in your aging relative, they should receive immediate medical attention since a more serious stroke may happen within a few hours or a few days.


Elder care providers can ensure seniors receive quick medical attention should a TIA occur by calling 911 or notifying a family caregiver. Elder care providers can also assist with preventing a TIA by helping the older adult to manage controllable risk factors. For example, an elder care provider can cook healthy meals that support overall health, are low in calories, and can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.


If you or someone you know needs Home Health Care in Daphne, AL, please contact the friendly caregivers at  Hughes Home Care. We provide quality and affordable care for your elderly loved ones in our community. Call Us Today 251-517-9901.  Serving Mobile & Baldwin County.