Woman with doctor monitoring her heart and checking for signs of carotid artery disease. Carotid artery disease refers to the narrowing or blockage of the carotid arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. But what are the symptoms of carotid artery disease?

Discover the causes and symptoms of carotid artery disease. The right information will help in early detection and effective management of this potentially life-threatening condition.

Causes of Carotid Artery Disease

The primary cause of carotid artery disease is atherosclerosis. This condition is characterized by the buildup of plaque inside the arteries. Over time, plaque consisting of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances can accumulate along the inner walls of the carotid arteries. It narrows the passageway and restricts blood flow to the brain.

Plus, several factors can increase the risk of carotid artery disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, and a family history of cardiovascular disease. These risk factors contribute to the development and progression of atherosclerosis.

Symptoms of Carotid Artery Disease

The first noticeable symptom is Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs), also known as “mini-strokes,” TIAs occur when blood flow to the brain is temporarily interrupted. It can lead to temporary neurological symptoms such as weakness, numbness, or tingling in the face, arm, or leg.

Carotid artery disease significantly increases the risk of stroke, particularly ischemic stroke. It can occur when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. 

Symptoms of a stroke may include sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, sudden confusion, dizziness, severe headache, and loss of coordination or balance.

Another symptom is carotid bruits. In some cases, carotid artery disease may produce an abnormal sound called a bruit, which can be heard with a stethoscope placed over the neck. 

While carotid bruits do not always indicate significant blockage, they may warrant further evaluation to assess the severity of the condition.

Book Your Consultation to Address Carotid Artery Disease in New York

Understanding the causes and symptoms of carotid artery disease can alarm early detection of serious complications. If you experience any symptoms of carotid artery disease, call our Port Jefferson Station office at 631-476-9100 or our Hauppauge office at 631-979-0222 to schedule an appointment with Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center. 

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