What to Do If You Suspect a TIA
Knowing How and When to Seek Medical AttentionHaving a TIA increases your chances of having another one. It also increases your risk for having a stroke. Therefore, it is very important that you and your family know how and when to seek medical attention. Talk to your doctor about making an emergency action plan, and discuss it with your family as well. The plan should include:
- Knowing the signs and symptoms of a TIA and stroke (see Stroke Symptoms)
- How to access emergency medical services in your community
- The location of the nearest hospital that offers 24-hour emergency stroke care.
Unfortunately, most stroke victims wait two hours or more after their symptoms begin before they seek medical help. This delay can result in death or lasting brain damage.
Final ThoughtsFor those people who have had a TIA, it is sobering, yet important, to realize another TIA or even a stroke is a very real possibility. It is also important to realize that the condition that caused the TIA in the first place will steadily worsen unless you make changes in your daily habits. That's why it is so vital to take action to control this serious condition.
There is much you can do to manage your condition, reduce your risk for a repeat TIA, and improve your chances of living a long, rewarding life. The sooner you get started with treatment, the better your chances of feeling better, staying well, and avoiding further problems.
Ask for support from family and friends. Keep in touch with your doctor. Make new, healthy lifestyle choices, one healthful habit at a time. Above all, be patient with yourself. You're on a new life path -- one that requires courage, awareness, and persistence.