The carotid artery blockage is one of the major causes of
stroke. When there is plaque formation in the carotid artery it will
eventually lead to a blockage. The carotid artery is one of the body's
major arteries and is located at the front of the neck.
The artery is the one responsible for transporting oxygenated blood
from the heart to the brain. When blood flow to the brain is restricted
because of the blockage, the brain becomes deprived of oxygen and
nutrients, which can lead to loss in brain function or sudden stroke.
The number one cause of carotid artery blockage is the build up of
fatty deposits in the blood vessels, which are known as
plaques. This can lead to a decrease in the arterial blood
flow and can eventually lead to clot formations.
can increase the chances of having carotid artery blockage include:
cholesterol levels in the blood
- eating foods that are high in fats or
- sedentary lifestyle
- lack of exercise
- family history of stroke
- cardiovascular disease
- high blood pressure
Symptoms of carotid artery blockage can go on for years without being
evident. You may start feeling the symptoms when the fatty
deposits in the carotid artery are already causing an
obstruction. When the obstruction is partial, you may
encounter a mild stroke, which is sometimes referred as mini stroke or
transient ischemic attack (TIA). But when the obstruction is
big enough not to allow blood to pass through, then a full blown stroke
When an attack takes place, the sufferer may notice one or more of the
following symptoms: crushing pain in the chest that may radiate in the
neck, chin; difficulty breathing, numbness or paralysis on
either side of the body, severe headache, slurring of speech or
difficulty speaking, temporary loss of hearing or vision and numbness
in the face, leg or arm.
To confirm that you have a carotid artery blockage, your doctor will
perform one or more diagnostic procedures. One of these
diagnostic procedures is the ultrasound test, which can provide a
of the blockage and can help determine the quantity of blood flowing
through the carotid artery.
Angiogram can also be used to help determine the level of
blockage. In this
, a radio opaque contrast
a special color is added into the carotid artery and an X-ray based
imaging is used to locate the exact size and location of the
blockage. If a stroke is suspected, one or more of these
diagnostic procedures may
be performed: PET scan, Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, Carotid
Duplex scan, Transesophageal Echocardiography,
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA), Magnetic
Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Transcranial Doppler (TCD).
most cases, blood thinners are prescribed to dissolve the
plaque. Surgical procedures that can be
performed to remove the blockage include carotid angioplasty and
It is important to seek immediate medical attention when you experience
the signs and symptoms of artery blockage because if left unattended,
it can lead to stroke, which is a life threatening condition.
from Carotid Artery Blockage to Stroke Causes
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