The unfortunate problem with carotid artery disease is that there are no early symptoms to alert you. The first symptom you have is a mini-stroke known as a transient ischemic attack or TIA. That is your warning shot to pay particular attention to carotid artery disease and stroke prevention.
Take control of your vascular health. Schedule a consultation at Advanced Vascular Associates in Morristown, NJ, and safeguard against Carotid Artery Disease and Stroke. Contact our vascular clinic by calling (973) 540-9700.
What Is Carotid Artery Disease?
Your carotid arteries are located in your neck and they are the main arteries leading to the brain. Over time these arteries can become blocked and filled with fatty deposits and plaque. This is called carotid artery disease or carotid artery stenosis. Cutting off the full blood supply and oxygen to the brain can cause strokes.
Just as arteries leading to the heart, known as coronary artery disease, can become blocked with plaque and cause a heart attack, so can your carotid arteries.
Is It Too Late?
Once you have a TIA, you might wonder if it’s too late to correct carotid artery disease. It is not, but you must make some changes.
When you suffer from a TIA, these are the symptoms:
- You will have numbness and weakness on one side of your body
- Your speech will be slurred
- You may lose vision in one eye
The symptoms may only last a few minutes, so it is crucial that you get medical attention as soon as possible.
Once you suffer from a mini stroke, you are more likely to suffer a full stroke which can severely and permanently damage your brain.
Risk Factors for Carotid Artery Disease and Stroke
The top risk factors for developing carotid artery disease include smoking, getting older, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and if you have a family history of stroke or atherosclerosis. Genetic factors, being overweight, lack of exercise, and being male all increase the risk factors.
Concentrate on what you can control:
- Stop smoking.
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels.
- Lose some weight.
- Begin regular exercise.
- Lower your blood sugar.
- Manage your weight.
Follow Our Treatment Recommendations
Once you have a TIA, your vascular specialist will perform tests to diagnose carotid artery disease. The care team will recommend that you improve your diet and do exercise.
Medications may be given like blood thinners and blood pressure meds.
Lastly, surgery might be recommended if those changes do not improve the blockage.