Carotid Artery Disease occurs when plaque builds up in the carotid arteries of the neck, causing a blockage that reduces blood flow to the brain. Often, there are no symptoms associated with the beginning stages of carotid artery disease, and unfortunately, stroke can sometimes be the first sign. Warning signs of a stroke (known as transient ischemic attacks or TIAs) can include:
- Weakness, tingling, or numbness on one side of the body
- Inability to control movement of one or more limbs
- Loss of vision in one eye
- Slurred speech or loss of ability to speak
Even if these symptoms resolve quickly, they indicate a strong possibility of an impending stroke. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your physician immediately.
Why Choose The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center?
Physicians at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center have expertise in treating carotid artery disease. We educate our patients about lifestyle habits and medications that may keep the disease from progressing. The Medical Center is home to skilled physicians who perform surgery as well as minimally invasive procedures to treat all stages of carotid artery disease.
What Is Carotid Artery Disease?
There are two carotid arteries in your neck, each supplying one side of your brain. When these arteries become narrowed or blocked, blood flow is reduced. The reduced blood flow can lead to a stroke.
What Causes Carotid Artery Disease?
Carotid artery disease is caused by plaque (a sticky substance made up of cholesterol, calcium and fibrous tissue) in the carotid artery. A buildup of plaque causes the artery to narrow and harden, resulting in reduced blood flow to the brain.
There are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing carotid artery disease: