What is Carotid Artery Disease?
Carotid artery disease is the buildup of blockages in the arteries of your neck, restricting blood flow to your eyes and brain. Left untreated carotid artery disease can lead to transient ischemic attach (TIA) or stroke which is a medical emergency that happens as not enough oxygen is reaching the brain.
Symptoms of carotid artery disease can include weakness on one side of the body, vision changes, trouble speaking or understanding words, lightheadedness or dizziness.
Carotid artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries of the neck. This process is called atherosclerosis. The same process in the heart can cause a heart attack or the same process in the legs can lead to amputation. If you have carotid artery disease you are at increased risk for these other diseases.
If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, former or current smoker/tobacco user, overweight/obesity, obstructive sleep apnea or are over the age of 50 you may be at risk.
Carotid artery disease can be diagnosed with a simple ultrasound of your neck. Based on these results the doctor may recommend particular lifestyle changes, medications and possibly surgery to remove the blockage. The doctor may also recommend a cardiac workup as the same process that causes carotid artery blockages can cause disease in your heart arteries.
Contact Prime Heart and Vascular today for a consultation