What you should know about Hailey Bieber’s “mini-stroke”
It was just a normal morning for Hailey Bieber when she suddenly felt a “really weird sensation” during breakfast with her husband Justin Bieber. Her fingertips began to feel numb, she was unable to speak and the right side of her face started drooping.
She was diagnosed with a transient ischemic attack, or TIA, because of a small blood clot in her brain, and she shared her experience with concerned fans on her YouTube channel. This is an episode of temporary neurological dysfunction caused by lack of blood flow to part of the brain that resolves, said Dr. Joshua Hallett, stroke medical director at Advocate Condell Medical Center.
“The general public often refers to these as mini-strokes,” Dr. Hallett said, noting that a TIA will commonly present with typical stroke symptoms that resolve, typically in less than 24 hours, most commonly in minutes to hours. “The concern with a TIA is that they often are a precursor to either further TIA’s or an actual stroke that can lead to permanent deficits. They can affect anyone.”
Signs of a TIA or stroke include a facial droop, arm or leg weakness, slurred speech or difficulty speaking, confusion, numbness, difficulty walking, and even less obvious symptoms such as dizziness and changes in vision. It is important to seek medical care immediately with any signs of a TIA or stroke, Dr. Hallett said.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with a TIA, treatment is focused on stroke prevention and assessing your risk factors and symptoms. The doctor may order a few imaging, cardiac and lab tests to rule out other conditions like atrial fibrillation.
“The purpose of these evaluations is to see if a patient has any risk factors for a stroke and to optimize their medical status to prevent a stroke,” Dr. Hallett said.
Managing risk for stroke can include control and management of blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, weight in addition to ensuring exercise and a healthy diet and quitting smoking. Other treatment options could be aspirin and other antiplatelet medications.
“It’s important to know the warning signs and symptoms of TIA and stroke so you can get medical attention as soon as possible,” said Dr. Hallett.