Did You Know Arteries Can Become Blocked Anywhere in the Body?

Plaque is often associated with dental care, but plaque can affect your arteries, too. When arteries become blocked with plaque, it’s known as atherosclerosis. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, you might also see this condition called arteriosclerosis. Plaque is a substance made of calcium, fat, cholesterol, and even some fibrous tissue. The more plaque that builds up in your arteries, the smaller the artery becomes. 

Narrowed arteries aren’t the only issue. If the plaque breaks off, your risk of strokes or heart attack can increase. And the most surprising fact is that arteries can become blocked in any part of your body. That’s why our team at Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center suggested you visit one of our three offices — in Port Jefferson Station, Hauppauge, and Riverhead, New York —  if you have concerns about your vascular health. 

Continue reading to learn more about blocked arteries — and what you can do if you suspect a blocked artery. 

How do arteries get blocked?

Arteries become blocked when too much plaque builds up and blocks or reduces the flow of blood. There are many risk factors for developing blocked arteries. Aging increases your risk of developing plaque buildup, but lifestyle habits also affect your vascular health. The following conditions increase your risk of developing blocked arteries:

Once plaque builds up, it hardens and can contribute to a variety of symptoms. 

Symptoms of a blocked artery 

Because arteries run throughout your body, it’s possible that arteries anywhere can become blocked. Depending on where the plaque builds up, you might experience different conditions and symptoms. For example, plaque that blocks the arteries in your neck — your carotid arteries — can lead to carotid artery disease, which increases your risk of stroke. 

If one of the arteries that leads to your legs is blocked, you might develop peripheral artery disease, or PAD. If you develop PAD, you might notice pain, numbness, or tingling in your feet and legs. 

Treating blocked arteries 

Because blocked arteries can cause discomfort and increase your risk for serious conditions, treatment is essential. Depending on the location of the blockage and the severity of the blockage, one of our skilled providers may suggest a range of treatments including:

Lifestyle changes in conjunction with other treatments may help reduce unpleasant symptoms like leg cramps, but they can also reduce the risk of blood clots forming and reduce the risk of conditions like strokes from occurring.

Questions?

 At Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center, our team of skilled vein specialists is here to help you get the vascular care you need. Whether you are interested in preventing blood clots or you are considering vascular surgery, we are here every step of the way. To book a consultation, call one of our three locations, or use our online scheduling tool.

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