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TRANSIENT BLINDNESS, A WARNING OF STROKE

Episodes of blindness, lasting up to five minutes and involving part or all of the visual field, are often a sign of decreased blood flow to the eye or to its nerve connections inside the brain. This is a warning of impending stroke.

About one in five persons so affected, according to the Lancet (1:838), will show X-ray evidence of a narrowed artery in the neck. Due to atherosclerosis (cholesterol deposits), the narrowed part of the artery can usually be removed, thereby improving the blood flow and helping to prevent a stroke.

Whether or not surgery can be performed, all other possible means of preventing stroke should be employed in such cases. These measures should include keeping the blood pressure down to normal and taking a medication such as aspirin in doses that slow the blood clotting mechanism.

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