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Carotid Artery Disease : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment


 What is Carotid Artery Disease?

Carotid artery stenosis is a situation that takes place whilst your carotid artery, the massive artery on either aspect of your neck, becomes blocked. The blockage is made of a substance called plaque (fatty ldl cholesterol deposits). When plaque blocks the normal float of blood thru your carotid artery, you’re at a higher risk of stroke. Plaque construct-up is referred to as atherosclerosis.

You have  carotid arteries — one on every aspect of your neck. These are big arteries that deliver blood to your mind, face and head. When they’re healthy, those arteries are smooth and open, like a smooth pipe that permits the unfastened glide of fluid without anything inside the manner. Your frame’s circulatory machine is a network of tubes that bring blood (containing nutrients and oxygen) to all of the elements of your body.

What is Carotid Artery Disease?
Carotid Artery Disease

You can develop carotid artery stenosis in both of the two arteries for your neck or in both. This condition can worsen over time without hospital therapy, leading to stroke with extreme headaches which could encompass dying.

Carotid artery disease results from a blockage or narrowing of the carotid arteries. This narrowing is likewise referred to as carotid artery stenosis.

The carotid arteries are essential blood vessels that offer your mind’s blood delivery. You have two carotid arteries, one on either side of your neck.


Carotid artery disorder causes up to 1-third of all strokes. A stroke takes place when something blocks blood flow in your mind, inflicting brain harm. Treatment for carotid artery stenosis can dramatically reduce this hazard.

Medical terms

  • Carotid artery ailment happens whilst fatty deposits (plaques) clog the blood vessels that deliver blood in your mind and head (carotid arteries). The blockage increases your risk of stroke, a medical emergency that occurs whilst the blood delivered to the brain is interrupted or critically decreased.
  • Stroke deprives your mind of oxygen. Within mins, brain cells begin to die. Stroke is the maximum not unusual purpose of loss of life and the main cause of permanent disability inside the U.S.
  • Carotid artery sickness develops slowly. The first signal that you have the circumstance can be a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA is a brief scarcity of blood that goes with the flow for your mind.
  • Treatment of carotid artery disorder commonly involves an aggregate of way of life changes, remedy and on occasion surgical procedure.
  • Carotid artery disease is the narrowing of the carotid arteries in the neck This condition can lead to an ischemic stroke a type of stroke caused by a blockage in one of the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain Carotid artery disease commonly affects people who are older than age 65 but it also occurs in younger people.
  • – symptoms diagnosis and treatment Carotid artery disease is a common cause of stroke It involves the narrowing of the carotid arteries in which blood flows from the heart to the brain or blockages in these arteries Carotid artery disease if left untreated can lead to a stroke Although it is not clear why some patients suffer strokes and others do not factors like smoking high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure increase your risk for this condition Some of the most common symptoms of carotid artery disease are.

Symptoms Carotid artery disease

You might not have any signs of carotid artery ailment. Plaque builds up within the carotid arteries over the years with no caution signs and symptoms until you have a transient ischemic assault(TIA) or a stroke.In its early tiers, carotid artery disease frequently doesn't produce any signs or signs and symptoms. The condition may fit disregarded till it's critical sufficient to deprive your brain of blood, causing a stroke or TIA.

Signs and symptoms of a stroke or TIA consist of:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face or limbs, often on only one side of the body

  • Sudden trouble speaking and understanding

  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

  • Sudden dizziness or loss of balance

  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

When to see a doctor

Seek emergency care in case you enjoy any signs or signs and symptoms of stroke. Even if they ultimately handiest a short while and then you definitely feel regular, see a physician right away. You might also have skilled a TIA, a critical sign which you're susceptible to a complete-blown stroke.

Talk to your physician if you have risk elements for carotid artery sickness. Even if you have no signs and symptoms or signs, your doctor may additionally advocate aggressive control of your threat elements to guard you from stroke. Seeing a medical doctor early will increase your possibilities that carotid artery sickness will be observed and dealt with before a disabling stroke occurs.

Causes Carotid artery disease

Carotid artery sickness is as a result of a buildup of plaques in arteries that deliver blood in your mind. Plaques are clumps of ldl cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue and other cell particles that collect at microscopic harm web sites within the artery. This procedure is called atherosclerosis.

Carotid arteries that are clogged with plaques are stiff and slender. Clogged carotid arteries have problems turning in oxygen and nutrients to important mind systems which can be chargeable for your everyday functioning.

There are several elements that could boost your hazard of developing this circumstance through the years. Some of these are elements you could alternate. Some make contributions to and compound different factors:

  • Smoking and using tobacco products.

  • Having obesity.

  • Sedentary lifestyle.

  • High blood pressure (hypertension).

  • High cholesterol.

  • Diabetes.

  • Age.

Risk factors Carotid artery disease

Carotid artery ailment, like different arterial sickness, can expand if you have atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. This circumstance is a buildup of fatty deposits known as plaque.

Plaque can slowly squeeze the artery closed, reducing blood flow with the flow. Or a blood clot may additionally all of sudden shape, blocking some or all the blood go with the flow on your mind. If the clot closes the artery completely, you could have a stroke.

Factors that boom your chance of carotid artery ailment consist of:

  • High blood pressure. Excess strain on artery walls can weaken them and cause them to be extra prone to harm.

  • Tobacco use. Nicotine can irritate the internal lining of your arteries. Smoking additionally increases your coronary heart price and blood strain.

  • Diabetes. Diabetes lowers your ability to manure fat correctly, putting you at extra threat of excessive blood stress and atherosclerosis.

  • High blood-fat levels. High ranges of low-density lipoprotein ldl cholesterol and high tiers of triglycerides, a blood fats, encourage the buildup of plaques.

  • Family history. Your danger of carotid artery ailment is better if a relative has atherosclerosis of coronary artery disease.

  • Age. Arteries become less flexible and more prone to injury with age.

  • Obesity. Excess weight increases your chances of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and diabetes.

  • Sleep apnea. Spells of stopping breathing at night may increase your risk of stroke.

  • Lack of exercise.It contributes to situations that harm your arteries, inclusive of high blood stress, diabetes and weight problems.

Complications Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery ailment causes about 10 to 20 percent of strokes. A stroke is a medical emergency which can leave you with permanent brain damage and muscle weakness. In excessive cases, a stroke may be deadly.

Carotid artery ailment can cause stroke via:

  • Reduced blood flow. A carotid artery may also become so narrowed by atherosclerosis that now not sufficient blood is able to attain portions of your brain.

  • Ruptured plaques. A piece of a plaque can also damage off and waft to smaller arteries for your brain. The plaque fragment can also get caught in the sort of smaller arteries, developing a blockage that cuts off blood supply to a part of your mind.

  • Blood clot blockage. Some plaques are susceptible to cracking and forming irregular surfaces at the artery wall. Your body reacts as if to an injury and sends blood cells that assist the clotting process to the area. The end result can be a huge clot that blocks or slows blood gliding to the mind, inflicting a stroke.

Prevention Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery stenosis may be risky if it’s not stuck and dealt with quickly. This circumstance can cause a stroke, that can cause loss of life or disability. It’s vital to recognise the signs of a stroke and act quick in case you apprehend these signs and symptoms in yourself or a person else. Quick remedy of carotid artery stenosis may be lifesaving. When indicated, the effects of surgical procedure and stenting are terrific. Most people get better in no time with simply and in a single day health center.

To prevent or slow the progression of carotid artery disease, recollect these suggestions:

  • Don't smoke. Within a few years of quitting, a former smoker's threat of stroke is just like a nonsmoker.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being obese contributes to other chance elements, such as excessive blood strain, cardiovascular ailment, diabetes and sleep apnea.

  • Limit cholesterol and fat. Cutting returned on saturated fat, particularly, may also lessen the accumulation of plaques for your arteries.

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. They include nutrients inclusive of potassium, folate and antioxidants, which may additionally shield in opposition to a TIA or stroke.

  • Limit salt. Excess salt (sodium) may boost blood strain in folks that are sensitive to sodium. Experts propose that healthful adults consume much less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day.

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise can decrease your blood pressure, increase your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the "correct" ldl cholesterol — and enhance the overall health of your blood vessels and heart. It also helps you shed pounds, control diabetes and decrease strain.

  • Limit alcohol.

  • Control chronic conditions. Managing situations consisting of diabetes and excessive blood pressure allows you to defend your arteries.

How do you improve carotid artery disease?

Carotid artery disease is a condition where the two main arteries leading to the brain become blocked This can lead to stroke The medical term for the condition is atherosclerosis and the symptoms include: Blurred vision Numbness in the face arms or legs Weakness in one arm or leg Trouble speaking or understanding what others are saying Trouble walking or balance issues.

What percentage of carotid artery blockage requires surgery?

The most recent scientific analysis of carotid artery blockage published in the journal Stroke found that 42 percent of patients who have a blockage less than 70 percent benefit from carotid artery surgery Another 10 percent of patients with a blockage between 70 and 99 percent will benefit from surgery.

How can I naturally unblock my carotid artery?

There are many ways you can unblock your carotid artery A simple way to do this is to apply pressure on the area around the blockage You can use your hand but it will cause pain since the area is close to your neck You should use a towel or something soft to apply pressure instead You can also massage the neck area gently when you are lying down Massaging or pressing on the artery will make it less stiff and may relieve some of the blockage However if this doesn't work you should consult with a doctor as soon as possible so he can give you other options that are more effective.

What is life expectancy after carotid artery surgery?

"The answer to that question depends on a number of factors and has a wide range People who have carotid artery disease but no symptoms or asymptomatic disease can live normal lives There are patients I've seen who were in their 80s when they had a stroke They were asymptomatic and continued to live independently after treatment," says Dr Michael R Cohen the medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and a professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

Diagnosis Carotid artery disease

To diagnose carotid artery ailment, we carry out a physical exam. We’ll especially concentrate on the blood going with the flow for your neck for a bruise. Your medical doctor may have you see a neurologist, who can take a look at for signs of a stroke or TIA.

To verify your standard fitness and likelihood of carotid artery stenosis, we may additionally order blood tests to test your blood sugar, ldl cholesterol and triglycerides.

Your medical doctor is likely to begin with a radical scientific records and physical exam. The exam generally consists of listening for a swooshing sound (bruit) over the carotid artery for your neck, a valid feature of a narrowed artery. Your physician can also then take a look at your bodily and mental talents along with strength, reminiscence and speech.

After that, your doctor may suggest:

  • Ultrasound, to assess blood flow and pressure in the carotid arteries.

  • CT or MRI, to look for evidence of stroke or other abnormalities.

  • CT angiography or MR angiography, Which offers additional photos of blood glide within the carotid arteries. An evaluation dye is injected right into a blood vessel, and a CT scan or an MRI gathers photos of your neck and brain.

Treatment Carotid artery disease

The essential intention of carotid artery stenosis treatment is to halt the development of the sickness. This starts off evolving with life-style modifications which includes a wholesome food plan, workout and preventing smoking. A each day baby dose of aspirin in conjunction with medicinal drugs that lower blood stress and cholesterol may also be used.

In more excessive cases and or cases causing symptoms of TIA or stroke, your issuer might also use a surgical operation known as carotid endarterectomy to eliminate the plaque from the carotid artery through an incision. Alternatively, your general practitioner may also vicinity a stent through a huge needle puncture and in the end via the blocked artery. This will open the artery as much as its proper length while trapping the plaque away from the blood with the flow between the stent and the wall. A vascular healthcare professional or professional determines which of these techniques is high-quality for each person who wishes treatment for carotid ailment.

Not each carotid stenosis desires surgical or interventional treatment as those strategies themselves come with risk. Surgeons simplest endorse procedures to people when the risks of intense stenosis and/or stroke grow to be higher than the hazard of the process.

The purpose in treating carotid artery ailment is to prevent stroke. Specific remedies depend upon the quantity of blockage on your carotid arteries.

If blockage is mild to moderate, your medical doctor can also endorse:

  • Lifestyle changes to slow the progression of atherosclerosis. Recommendations can also consist of quitting smoking, dropping weight, ingesting wholesome ingredients, decreasing salt and workout frequently.

  • Medication to control blood pressure or lower cholesterol. Your doctor can also advocate taking a daily aspirin or different blood-thinning remedy to prevent blood clots.

If blockage is severe, or if you've already had a TIA or stroke, your doctor may additionally recommend eliminating the blockage from the artery. The alternatives consist of:

  • Carotid endarterectomy, The maximum common treatment for severe carotid artery sickness. After making an incision along the front of your neck, the physician opens the affected carotid artery and removes the plaques. The artery is repaired with both stitches or a graft.

  • Carotid angioplasty and stenting, If the blockage is just too tough to reach with carotid endarterectomy or you have got other health situations that make surgical procedure too volatile. You are given local anesthesia and a tiny balloon is threaded by means of catheter to the vicinity of the clog. The balloon is inflated to widen the artery, and a small cord mesh coil (stent) is inserted to preserve the artery from narrowing once more.

Preparing for your appointment

You can be stated as a physician who specializes in problems of the mind and worried devices (neurologist).

What you can do

  • Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason why you scheduled the appointment.

  • Make a list of all your medications, vitamins and supplements.

  • Write down your key medical information, including other conditions.

  • Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life.

  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

  • Ask a relative or friend to accompany you, to help you remember what the doctor says.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?

  • What kinds of tests do I need?

  • What kinds of treatments do I need?

  • Should I make any lifestyle changes?

In addition to the questions which you've organized to invite your physician, don't hesitate to invite different questions at some stage in your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your physician is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being equipped to reply to them may additionally make time to go over factors you need to spend more time on. You can be asked:

  • Have you had any stroke-like signs and symptoms, such as weakness on one side of your body, trouble speaking or sudden vision problems?

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms? How long did they last?

  • Do you smoke?

  • How much alcohol do you drink?

  • Do you exercise regularly?

  • What do you eat on a typical day?

  • Do you have a family history of heart disease or stroke?

  • Do you have symptoms of sleep apnea?

  • Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?

General summary

  1. Carotid artery disease is the gradual buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the head and neck This can lead to stroke especially in people who have a narrowing of the carotid artery in their neck The two main types of carotid artery disease are atherosclerosis and high blood cholesterol levels which can develop into plaque buildup over time If you have carotid artery disease it's important to take action to prevent further damage to your arteries.

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Carotid Artery Disease : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

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