What caused my husband to make a strange sucking noise and not even realize it?

3 answers | Last updated: Sep 22, 2016
Howrard asked...

my husband was siting down in one of the chairs on our porch. hishead lolled back and his eyes rolled up in their sockets and he made sucking sound with mouth nd tongue. his right hand was reaching for the front door. this lasted about5 seconds. he was not aware that anything happened nor was theirany pain.after 5 seconds he continued his story like nothing happened. what was that?

Expert Answers

Jytte Lokvig, PhD, coaches families and professional caregivers and designs life-enrichment programs and activities for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Her workshops and seminars help caregivers and families create a healthy environment based on dignity and humor. She is the author of Alzheimer's A to Z: A Quick-Reference Guide.

This episode sounds like a TIA (transient ischemic attack,) also known as a mini-stroke. Unlike a regular stroke, a TIA does not cause brain tissue to die. It may last from a few minutes to several hours. It's caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow in the brain. After a TIA, the blockage breaks up quickly and dissolves.

It's usually impossible to diagnose a TIA after the fact, because the changes in the brain are too minimal, so if it happens again it's pointless to take husband to the hospital. It will only cause him unnecessary stress (and stress can cause a real stroke.)

You might want to inform his doctor, just to have it on record.

Transient ischemic attack http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001743/

Community Answers

Howard3 answered...

I have to disagree with Dr Lokvig. You should NOT just ignore this. If it happens again I would definitely get him in to see a doctor as soon as possible. Many times a TIA is a precurser to a real stroke. They may not see the temporary blockage, but they can see a narrowing of the artery. They could also do a blood test to see if he is prone to clotting. Believe me, I know. I am coming up on the 5 year anniversary of my stroke and you do not want your husband or family tgo have to go through that.

Ca-claire answered...

This could also be a stroke related seizure. Getting this checked out is best! Especially if he has a history of stroke.