Explained: What are Mini strokes and how to recognise the symptoms

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New Delhi: Stroke is a leading health burden across the globe. In India around 2 lakh stroke cases are reported each year. According to a report released by Global Burden of Diseases (GBD), India represents the biggest share of the total stroke cases with an incidence rate of 68.6 per cent, and 70.9 per cent of stroke deaths. In India, strokes are the 2nd leading cause of mortality and disability, affecting millions each year. While full-blown strokes often grab headlines, mini-strokes, also known as transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), are equally crucial to understand and address promptly.

What are Mini Strokes?

Imagine a temporary blockage in a vital artery leading to your brain. Dr Ganesh Veerabhadraiah, Consultant – Neurosurgery -brain, spine & neuroendovascular surgery, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road, Bengaluru explained, “This temporary disruption in blood flow causes a mini-stroke, resulting in stroke-like symptoms that typically resolve within 24 hours and leave no permanent damage. Though temporary, ignoring a mini-stroke is like ignoring a smoke alarm. It serves as a crucial warning sign of a potential full-blown stroke, which can have devastating consequences.”

Recognising the Symptoms:

Remember the acronym FAST to identify potential mini-stroke symptoms:

• Face:Drooping or numbness on one side of the face
• Arm:Weakness or numbness in one arm
• Speech:Slurred speech or difficulty finding words
• Time:Act immediately; call emergency services

Additional symptoms may include:

• Sudden vision loss in one eye
• Severe headache with no apparent cause
• Dizziness or loss of balance
• Confusion or trouble understanding

How To Seek Help:

Time is of the essence when dealing with suspected mini-strokes or strokes. Don’t hesitate to reach out for immediate medical attention. Here are some options in India:

• Call emergency services (108):This is the fastest way to access emergency medical care.
• Visit the nearest hospital:Look for hospitals with dedicated stroke units or neurology departments.
• Consult a neurologist:These specialists diagnose and manage stroke-related conditions.

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