We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a TIA?

By Ron Marr
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is more commonly known as a transient stroke or mini-stroke. In contrast to its more deadly counterpart, a full-blown ischemic stroke, a TIA generally results in only short-term symptoms. Although in some cases permanent brain damage can result from the onset of a TIA, such debilitating effects are uncommon. A TIA can, in fact, serve as a very effective early warning device. It is estimated that up to one third of those persons experiencing a mini-stroke will go on to have a full ischemic stroke, often within ninety days.

Mini-strokes take place when a major artery is temporarily clogged by a blood clot. This clot prevents the brain from receiving the blood flow and oxygen it requires for proper functioning. The duration of the symptoms felt during a TIA are generally one to five minutes in length, although symptoms of lessening degree can sometimes be experienced as long as 24 hours after the initial attack.

The symptoms of a transient ischemic attack are very similar to those of a debilitating ischemic stroke. The only differences are the length of the attack and a greatly reduced risk of permanent brain damage and long-term disability. The onset of symptoms will be sudden and unexpected and may begin with numbness in the face and extremities, particularly the arms and legs. Typically, all of the symptoms will be felt on only one side of the body.

A person in the throes of a mini-stroke may seem confused, and have trouble both articulating and understanding words. Another common symptom is dizziness, vertigo, or great difficulty in walking. Sometimes the afflicted individual will have impaired sight, usually blurry or double vision in one or both eyes. The onset of a severe and painful headache, when there has been no history of such things in the past, can also be a telltale sign of a mini-stroke.

When symptoms of a mini-stroke take place, it is crucial that medical help be sought immediately. It is impossible for an untrained person to know if the affected individual is experiencing a TIA or a full ischemic stroke. These mini-strokes can often mimic the symptoms of other conditions, and only a qualified physician can make a proper diagnosis. Seeking the closest emergency room is critical in these situations. Medical knowledge has advanced to the degree that, even in the event of an ischemic stroke, long-term brain damage can be minimized if certain medications are administered within three hours of the attack.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Esther11 — On Jun 27, 2011

My sister works in an emergency room. She tells me about people who come in for a diagnosis of a TIA episode. After it has been determined that they suffered a mini-stroke and not a full-blown stroke, we give them lots of information about how to treat their tendency to have strokes. A good proportion of those who have had a TIA will have a serious stroke sometimes in their life.

We nurses and doctors encourage them to go to their physician and set up a program to cut the risk of stroke.

Treatment may include life style changes, like stopping smoking, exercising more, and changing your diet.

More treatment might be taking medicine to keep the blood from clotting, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. There's a lot one can do to minimize the risk of stroke or TIAs.

By lovealot — On Jun 26, 2011

It seems to me that TIAs are fairly common in people over sixty. I know of a number of older people who have had one or more TIAs. They have not had any after effects and have not had a major stroke in the years to come. I don't know what percentage of those who have TIAs have a full stroke soon after.

From what I've heard, it's important to see a doctor even if you experience minor symptoms of TIA and the symptoms go away. A friend had a severe stroke and now can't talk. It's important to get to an emergency room, if possible, no more than three hours after the stroke.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.