ZocdocAnswersWhat are the symptoms of a mild stroke?

Question

What are the symptoms of a mild stroke?

My mother woke up and said that her face and neck felt numb for like an hour. It has gone away and she refuses to go to the doctor about it. Could she have had a mild stroke and not know it? What could happen if she doesn't have herself looked at?

Answer

It sounds like your mother may have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or a mini stroke. Some other symptoms of a mini stroke can include difficulty in seeing from one or both eyes, trouble with walking or remembering things, numbness of the face, arms, or leg, severe headache, dizziness or loss of coordination, and confusion. A mini-stroke typically lasts a few minutes and resolves within an hour without residual effects. A concerning fact is that about a third of patients experiencing a mini-stroke will later have a serious stroke. This occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted for whatever reason. Sometimes a blood vessel can get a blockage leading to an ischemic stroke, a vessel that can also break causing a hemorrhagic stroke. Both can have severe consequences but knowing the type is essential to decide how a person is treated. That said, no one can tell whether one is having a mini-stroke or a real stroke in the beginning since they both can feel the same. This is why it is critical for your mother to seek medical care as soon as possible because some medications are only effective when it is given within a few hours of the stroke. To stop smoking, lower the cholesterol level, and control diabetes and blood pressure are all important measures to take to prevent stroke. I would suggest that your mother schedule a visit with a primary care physician soon.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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