Timing is everything when it comes to stroke. Deprived of oxygen, the brain starts to die. Turns out, timing also plays a role in small events called TIAs. Temporary in nature, TIAs can have life-long implications.
“TIAs, or what’s commonly referred to as mini-strokes, are actually precursors to strokes in many occasions,” says Dr. Adam Heller.
Neurologist Adam Heller is the stroke director for Lee Memorial Health System.
“The greatest risk is in the earliest days or a week after that TIA for people that have certain characteristics with that TIA: longer duration, older age, other medical risk factors. And that’s why it’s really important, even with a TIA, for those patients to seek medical attention,” says Dr. Heller.
More weight is being placed on TIAs because a mini-stroke may provide a big opportunity to prevent a major event. The national Stroke Association states 40% of people who have a TIA will experience a major stroke. Because symptoms generally resolve within minutes, many people don’t recognize the danger.
“If they have any sudden change of strength or sensation, one side of the body or the other, and change of their speech pattern, either slurring of their speech or difficulty getting words out, sudden visual changes, those would be the most common and integral signs,” says Dr. Heller.
About half of Americans either smoke, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. A stroke screening can evaluate their risk.
“There’s a lot of things for stroke prevention, your lifestyle for one thing, your diet, your health. Many people have a lot of risk factors,” says Tricia Meinel, who is a stroke analyst coordinator on medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.
Heading the stroke signs may save lives and quality of life.
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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.