A smiling resident chats with a smiling healthcare professional.

What to Expect After a Mini-Stroke

As one of the top 5 leading causes of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of long-term disability, the symptoms of a stroke are well known by most individuals. But what about a mini-stroke? Is having a mini-stroke as serious as having a stroke? And what happens if a mini-stroke goes untreated?

Also known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), a mini-stroke is similar to a stroke as the symptoms are nearly identical, though they resolve in 24 hours or less and usually do not cause permanent or long-term disabilities on their own. Both strokes and mini-strokes are typically caused by a blot clot, which disrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. These clots can be the result of numerous medical issues, including:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol

What Are the After-Effects of a Mini-Stroke?

As mentioned above, the symptoms of TIA, or a mini-stroke, are similar to those of a stroke. Individuals experiencing TIA might experience issues with language or speaking, vision changes, issues of balance, dizziness or fainting, muscle weakness, or severe headaches. However, unlike a stroke, which can cause long-lasting and permanent damage, TIA symptoms usually resolve themselves within 24 hours.

Wondering what happens if a mini-stroke goes untreated? And what are the chances of having a stroke after a mini-stroke? Although they don’t cause permanent damage, if left untreated, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) can serve as an early warning sign of a future stroke, with an estimated one-third of individuals who experience TIA later experiencing a stroke. As such, it is essential to receive treatment as soon as possible to avoid future disruptions to blood flow to the brain, as well as to identify and resolve any possible risk factors for a future stroke. Rapid diagnosis and treatment can be difficult, though, as some mini-strokes last as briefly as 1 minute, and symptoms are typically gone by the time an individual gets in to see a doctor.

In terms of treatment, you might be wondering, “How long do you stay in the hospital after a mini-stroke?” The good news? Most likely, you won’t need an overnight hospital stay! While the typical length of a hospital stay for a stroke is 5-7 days followed by rehabilitation, experiencing TIA does not generally require a hospital stay since symptoms resolve themselves quickly and don’t often result in lingering issues. If your doctor suspects you have experienced TIA, or a mini-stroke, they may send you for rehabilitation at a senior rehab community like Monterey Park, where you can work with experienced physicians and therapists to help resolve any risk factors for future attacks or strokes.

How Can I Improve My Brain After a Stroke?

While having a mini-stroke does not usually lead to long-term issues with cognition, in cases where an individual goes on to experience a full stroke, structured exercise training and physical therapy may be suggested to help improve brain function. Physical therapy and exercise can lead to improvements in cognition specifically for measures of attention and processing speed; research also indicates that the effects of aerobic exercise are enhanced when combined with some form of strength training.

When it comes to post-stroke rehabilitation or working to prevent a future stroke by identifying and resolving your personal TIA risk factors, it’s important to have an experienced team in place that understands your needs and can offer you the individualized attention you deserve. At Monterey Park Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, we excel at providing person-centered senior rehabilitation care. Our quality care plan is nationally recognized and includes the integration of specialized physicians and therapists, including your primary care doctor, to help you get back on your feet in no time.

Not sure if senior rehabilitation is right for you? Contact us today for answers to your most pressing questions. Our team at Monterey Park stands ready to support you and your loved ones with any health concerns you may have.