What causes a TIA?

Patient

Q: A few months ago i had a strange sorta episode but i didnt know what was happening to me so i just ignored it until i started gettin worried and i searched up symptoms for a tia. I had some of the symptoms such as severe headache, numbness of limbs( sorta loss use of them) , blurry vision, sweatiness.. But the thing that is makin me wonder if i really did have a tia is thta usually symptons are on one side of the body. Please help me figure out what it was and what to do about it.

Doctor

A:   A transient ischemic attack is a cluster of neurologic (brain) findings that may include blurring of vision, abnormal gait (walking), weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, confusion, etc. By definition, all TIA symptoms should resolve within 24 hours. The explanation for this is in predisposed individuals (diabetics, high blood cholesterol), a blood vessel of the brain is clogged; depending on what part of the brain it is supplying, neurologic symptoms develop therafter. Once the clot dissolves, the symptoms resolve completely. Your symptoms could be anxiety related or the other symptoms were your response to pain (headache). Severe pain, for example severe headaches, can cause blurred vision, difficulty breathing, weakness or numbness, some even faint because of the pain. It is very unlikely that was a transient ischemic attack especially if your blood pressure is normal, you do not have diabetes and you don’t have high cholesterol. TIA is also very uncommon in your age group. If you really are worried about that episode, you can see a doctor so you can be assessed by a physical exam and/or probably some tests can be done that will tell if you are indeed at risk for a transient ischemic attack.  I do hope this helps and take care always.

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