Mini stroke also known as a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is defined as transient cerebrovascular dysfunction. Mini Stroke symptoms occur as a result of decreased blood flow to the brain or spinal cord. One may experience signs of stroke due to less or no blood consumption by the brain.
Mini stroke symptoms are usually not dangerous as they only last for minutes on a maximum of 24 hours. But it can surely be dangerous for elderly people. People above the age of 40 are more likely to feel mini stroke symptoms. A mini stroke can cause serious damage to elder people as their bodies and organs are not as healthy and strong as young ones.
The risk of mini stroke symptoms is higher in the elderly due to many health factors. So, to avoid any inconvenience, the family must know about mini-strokes and how to manage the signs of stroke if someone is having them.
Mini Stroke Symptoms in The Elderly:
A mini stroke can happen unexpectedly. You always have to be prepared to deal with a mini stroke if you feel stroke signs in someone or you have a family stroke history. To save your elders from any life-risking problem, you need to educate yourself on stroke signs. You should know why a mini stroke occurs and how you can manage it.
Below are some major mini stroke symptoms that will help you save a life:
1. Numbness in The Hands and Feet:
One of the most noticeable signs of a stroke is sudden numbness in the hands or feet. The lack of blood and oxygen to the brain during a mini-stroke can impair its ability to process sensory input, affecting muscles, nerves, and skin.
2. Speech & Vision Problems:
Disrupted speech is among one of the most common mini stroke symptoms. Lack of blood and oxygen supply to the brain can also affect speech-related muscles i.e. the tongue and lips. It can also disrupt important speech-related brain signals.
Moreover, strokes can also result in unexpected and unexplained vision loss. Vision refers to the images and things we see in the physical world.
3. Migraine or Severe Headache:
Although a severe, throbbing headache can be caused by a variety of conditions. But sudden, unbearable headaches without any specific reason can be counted among the signs of a stroke.
A stroke-related headache is characterized by sudden and severe pain. This is in contrast to a migraine-related headache, which begins as a slight ache that worsens over time and is accompanied by a variety of other sensations.
How to Diagnose Mini Stroke Symptoms in The Elderly?
The acronym FAST stands for the following signs of a stroke and it helps you recognize it quickly.
- Face – the person’s face may drop to one side. They may be unable to smile; their mouth or eye may have dropped.
- Arms – Because of weakness or numbness in one arm, the person may be unable to lift both arms and keep them raised.
- Speech – Despite appearing to be awake, their speech may be slurred or garbled. The person might unable to speak at all. They may also have difficulty understanding what you’re saying to them.
- Treatment– If you notice any of the above signs or symptoms, call on the medical emergency number immediately.
Treatment of Mini Stroke Symptoms in The Elderly:
Treatment is necessary to prevent a mini stroke. If a senior has mini stroke symptoms that are not being treated, they are more likely to have a major stroke within three months.
To determine the cause, a doctor usually performs various diagnostic tests, such as an MRI scan or CT scan. If the doctor suspects a Coronary Artery Disease, he or she may call you for a test such as heart rhythm monitoring or CTA.
You will most likely be advised on lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your stroke risk, as well as medication to treat the underlying cause of the TIA.
Below, we have enlisted the most common treatments to prevent stroke signs.
Anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, are frequently prescribed for long-term use to prevent blood clots in the brain and to reduce the risk of a mini stroke.
Aspirin is also a commonly prescribed medicine because it reduces the possibility of platelets in your blood joining together and clotting within brain vessels.
3. Carotid Endarterectomy:
In some cases, carotid endarterectomy may be required to unblock your carotid arteries, which are the main blood vessels that supply blood to your brain.
The above-mentioned treatments are commonly advised. However, you must consult your doctor before taking or giving any medicine.
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Mini Stroke Symptoms in Seniors?
A mini stroke is frequently a warning sign that another one is on the way. Your loved one is at a higher risk of having a major, life-threatening stroke.
There are several steps you can follow to reduce the chances of stroke signs occurring in the future.
- Keep the weight in balance.
- Consume a healthy and balanced diet.
- Engage in exercise or physical activities regularly.
- Refrain from alcohol and smoke consumption.
Causes of Mini Stroke Symptoms in The Elderly:
Signs of a stroke occur when the blood supply to the brain is reduced. Here are some common health conditions that obstruct the blood supply to the brain.
1. High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure or hypertension can cause artery damage, resulting in tears or bursts. A mini-stroke can occur when a blood clot caused by hypertension dislocates or dissolves on its own. Elder people can avoid the risk by regularly monitoring their blood pressure.
Senior persons should get a low-sodium healthy diet, get enough 8 hours of sleep at night, and exercise daily for 1-2 hours to prevent themselves from signs of stroke.
2. Carotid Artery Disease:
Carotid artery disease happens as a result of fat build-up in the blood vessels. It can narrow the blood vessels that transport oxygen from the heart to the brain. The symptoms often go unnoticed in the early stages and seniors may not be aware of the disease.
The elderly who quit smoking and drinking alcohol, limit their salt and oil intake, exercise regularly, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables can lower their risk of getting mini-strokes.
3. High Cholesterol:
Mini strokes are frequently caused by fat deposits in the major vessels that carry blood to the brain due to high cholesterol. These plaques obstruct blood flow in areas of the body that supply oxygen and other nutrients. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels can prevent a person from the formation of blood clots and hence mini stroke symptoms.
The symptoms of a mini-stroke are nearly identical to those of a major stroke. While the mini stroke symptoms are temporary, they can be an indication of an impending stroke.
Seniors have to face a variety of age-related difficulties, health issues, and increased medication. Stroke is one of the most life-risking conditions in seniors. However, it can be managed with proper care, a balanced diet, exercise, and attention.
If you or someone close to you appears to be having mini stroke symptoms, the best thing to do is to call a medical emergency and consult a doctor right away.