Carotid artery disease develops due to the blockage of carotid arteries, weakening the blood supply to the arteries, which transport it from the heart to the cerebrum and head.  Eventually, blocked carotid artery can occur by reason of plaque accumulation, that can end up with a stroke, heart attack or even fatal outcome. The illness may be cured with various medications, interventional injections or surgical intervention. A lot of specialists also recommend to quit your bad habits or lead a healthy and active life.

Artery stenosis causes

The disorder originates when the carotid arteries narrow or block. The main reason for this phenomenon is fibrous tissue, plaque or calcium stockpiling. Such kinds of build-ups may lead to a mini-stroke if a chunk of this substance breaks off, moves to the brain sector and provokes blocked carotid artery. 

Carotid artery disease symptoms

Carotid artery disease may run without any symptoms during early periods. Precautionary features of the illness may include:

  • mini stroke;
  • stroke;
  • heart spasms
  • TIA.

Generally, carotid artery disease symptoms continue from several minutes to one hour. If you suffer from transient ischemic attack, you should call the doctor without hesitation. If your complaints last more than twenty-four hours, the consequences can be unpredictable.

Blocked carotid artery diagnosis

Your healthcare provider can make a diagnosis relying on your medical records and artery stenosis causes. It’s obligatory to go through several tests, including:

  • general examination;
  • cardiovascular testing;
  • arterial pressure check;
  • blood moving study;
  • dual ultrasound (a little device will be put over the arteries to transfer sound waves that form a visual state of your carotid arteries);
  • magnetic resonance angiography – the study of veins;
  • computed tomography or computed angiography – brain and artery check;
  • x-ray – blood vessels check;
  • MRI.

If this examination will not provide any useful information, extra studies may be performed. 

Risk factors

There are some issues that may provoke your future disease, such as:

  • heredity;
  • age (the elderly are more likely to develop this illness);
  • tobacco use;
  • obesity;
  • different types of diabetes;
  • high arterial pressure;
  • high rate of cholesterol;
  • physical inactiveness;
  • aneurysm disease;
  • dysplasia;
  • triglycerides;
  • extremely high level of LDL.

Сarotid artery blockage treatment

The main goal in the treatment process is to prevent stroke. There are different ways to cure carotid artery disease, for example lifestyle changes. The specialist may recommend you to:

  • give up your bad habits, such as smoking or alcohol abuse
  • keep a healthy diet
  • perform regular physical activity
  • reduce salt or sugar intake
  • lose weight.

Also, you may be advised to take some medicines to control your blood pressure rate and reduce cholesterol level, such as aspirin. However, if the need for carotid artery blockage treatment is strong, surgery might be the only solution. Possible variants may be the following:

  • Carotid endarterectomy. It’s the most spread medication for this disorder. The surgeon makes a slit along the neck, opens the blocked artery and eliminates the plaques. 
  • Carotid angioplasty. It’s conducted if your case is too severe. You are given local narcosis, then your artery will be surgically widened. This will prevent the artery from narrowing in future.