Transient Ischemic Attack

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a "warning stroke" that causes stroke-like symptoms. A TIA happens when a blood clot temporarily blocks an artery in the brain or neck. The symptoms of a TIA can happen very fast and do not last long. Unlike a stroke, a TIA does not damage the brain. It is important to know the symptoms of a TIA and what to do. This can help prevent a major stroke or death.


  • High blood pressure (hypertension).

  • High cholesterol.

  • Heart disease.

  • Smoking.

  • Diabetes.

  • An abnormal heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).

  • Family history of stroke or heart attack.

  • Taking birth control pills by mouth (especially if you also smoke).


  • Weakness or lack of feeling (numbness) on one side of your body, especially to your face, arm, or leg.

  • Confusion.

  • Trouble talking, thinking, or understanding.

  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

  • Trouble walking.

  • Feeling dizzy.

  • Loss of balance.

  • Very bad headache.


  • Take all medicine as told by your doctor. Do not stop taking medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

  • Do not smoke.

  • Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and lean meat. Avoid food that is high in salt and fat.

  • Exercise and stay at a healthy weight.

  • Keep all your doctor visits.


  • You have weakness or cannot feel one side of your body, especially your face, arm, or leg.

  • You have trouble talking, thinking, or understanding.

  • You have trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

  • You are dizzy, have trouble walking, or lose your balance.

  • You have a very bad headache.

Do not ignore the symptoms of a TIA. A TIA is a warning sign before a stroke. If TIA symptoms appear, call your local emergency services (911 in U.S.) right away. Do not drive yourself to the hospital.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.