HealthCare Resources Blog


Carotid Artery Disease (Part 1 of 3)

Posted in Doctors,HealthCare Resources by Pam on June 1, 2013
Tags: , ,

If you are receiving this newsletter in error, or would like to be removed from our mailing list – please accept our apologies and notify us – we will remove you immediately. On the other hand, feel free to send this newsletter on to your friends!

We are so proud to work with Dr. Escoto who is a Vascular Specialist. This is Part 1 of a 3 part article written by him on Carotid Artery Disease. Consider participating in our Vascular Clinic, one of our many monthly screening clinics. Upcoming Vascular Clinics are scheduled for June 19 and July 16, 2013. Please email pamela@healthcareresourcespv.com for details or any questions.

DEFINITION

Carotid artery disease occurs when fatty, waxy deposits called plaques clog your carotid arteries. Your carotid arteries are a pair of blood vessels that deliver blood to your brain and head. The buildup of plaques in these arteries blocks the blood supply to your brain and increases your risk of stroke. Because carotid artery disease develops slowly and often goes unnoticed, the first outward clue that you have the condition may be a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes referred to as a ministroke. Treatment of carotid artery disease usually involves a combination of lifestyle changes, medications and, in some cases, surgery or a stenting procedure.

In its early stages, carotid artery disease often doesn’t produce any signs or symptoms. You and your doctor may not know you have carotid artery disease until it’s serious enough to deprive your brain of blood, causing a stroke or TIA — an early warning sign of a future stroke.

SYMPTOMS

You may not have any symptoms of carotid artery disease. Plaque builds up in the carotid arteries over time with no warning signs until you have a transient ischemic attack or a stroke.

Signs of a stroke may include:

  • Sudden loss of vision, blurred vision, or difficulty in seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Weakness, tingling, or numbness on one side of the face, one side of the body, or in one arm or leg
  • Sudden difficulty in walking, loss of balance, lack of coordination
  • Sudden dizziness and/or confusion
  • Difficulty speaking (called aphasia)
  • Confusion
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Problems with memory
  • Difficulty swallowing (called dysphagia)

When to see a doctor

Dr. Escoto, a wonderful, bilingual vascular surgeon

Dr. Escoto, a wonderful, bilingual vascular surgeon

Talk to your doctor if you have risk factors for carotid artery disease. Your doctor may do some tests to see what shape your arteries are in. Even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms, your doctor may recommend aggressive management of your risk factors to protect you from stroke.

Seek emergency care if you experience any of the signs or symptoms of a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.

Even if the signs and symptoms last only a short while — usually less than an hour but possibly longer — and then you feel normal, tell your doctor right away. What you may have experienced is a TIA, a temporary shortage of blood flow to a region of your brain. A TIA is an important sign that you’re at high risk of having a full-blown stroke, so don’t ignore it.

Seeing a doctor early increases your chances that carotid artery disease will be detected and treated before a disabling stroke occurs. It’s also possible that a TIA can be due to lack of blood flow in other blood vessels. Your doctor will determine which testing is necessary.

Make sure your close friends and family know the signs and symptoms of stroke and understand that it’s critical to act fast in the event of a possible stroke.

Advertisements

6 Responses to 'Carotid Artery Disease (Part 1 of 3)'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Carotid Artery Disease (Part 1 of 3)'.

  1. Joan Bates Appleyard said,

    what sort of test would be available to see if this might be a problem???

    • PThompson said,

      A bi-lateral carotod doppler ultrasound.

  2. Glinys said,

    Very interesting article. Would love to see an article on low blood pressure and passing out when it drops

    • PThompson said,

      Thank you for your comment! I will add your suggestion to our topic list! Pamela


  3. […] Carotid Artery Disease (Part 1 of 3) (pampv.wordpress.com) […]


  4. […] Carotid Artery Disease (Part 1 of 3) (pampv.wordpress.com) […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: