Signs & Symptoms of Carotid Artery Blockage 

Blog Post
By South Valley Vascular
July 13, 2022

It’s always important to pay attention to your body and seek medical care when something doesn’t seem right. Many times slow developments can lead to serious complications, which is a possibility with carotid artery disease. It happens when the carotid artery that transports blood to your head and brain gets clogged by plaque. This blockage significantly increases the risk of having a stroke due to reduced blood supply to the brain.

Carotid artery disease is very slow developing. One of the first signs people experience is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a stroke. Here are some of the risk factors and signs and symptoms of carotid artery disease.

Risk Factors for Carotid Artery Disease

Both men and women are susceptible to carotid artery disease. Many of the risk factors are the same as other types of heart disease, including:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Age
  • Hypertension
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history of similar diseases
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

Your doctor can evaluate your medical health and determine your risk level for carotid artery disease. Many of the complications of carotid artery disease can be reduced by choosing a healthy lifestyle.

Signs and Symptoms of Carotid Artery Disease

People often don’t realize they have carotid artery disease because there are no warning signs. Since it is a slow-developing disease, a stroke or TIA might be the first sign experienced. It’s important to look out for signs of a stroke or TIA, which can include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Dizziness
  • Random numbness
  • Impaired vision
  • Loss of balance

So how can people know if they are having a stroke or a TIA? The signs and symptoms are similar. However, a TIA is typically less severe and the symptoms subside after a few minutes or hours. Just because a TIA isn’t as severe as a stroke doesn’t mean it’s not a medical emergency, though. You have no way of knowing whether it will immediately lead to a stroke or not. It’s always suggested to seek medical attention since someone who experienced a TIA is more likely to have a stroke.

When you visit a medical professional, they could suggest a carotid ultrasound to determine whether you had a stroke or TIA. It’s only after the ultrasound that your doctor will recommend the best course of action for your condition.

Ways to Prevent Carotid Artery Disease

When treated early enough, carotid artery disease can be managed. Preventing or slowing the progression of it is possible with lifestyle changes and medical intervention. Medical professionals often suggest lifestyle changes like:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Focusing on managing a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting salt intake
  • Eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables
  • Limiting alcohol consumption

When you visit your medical professional, they will evaluate all of your risk factors for carotid artery blockage. They might recommend some of these lifestyle changes to help you stay as healthy as possible. It’s never too late to start practicing a better lifestyle!

Never be afraid to reach out to a professional for medical assistance. Paying attention to your body is the most important thing you can do for your health. Our professionals at South Valley Vascular can help you understand what is going on with your body. No symptoms should ever be ignored and our experts will diagnose and help you treat your condition. 

We understand any concerns you may have and are always willing to help. To schedule a screening for carotid artery blockage, contact us today at (559) 625-4118. One simple phone call can give you peace of mind and put you on track to a healthier life.