The carotid arteries are the main blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. Carotid artery disease happens when plaque builds up and narrows the arteries which can cause a blockage and lead to a TIA (mini stroke) or a full scale stroke. If you are over age 50, or have a family history of carotid artery disease, your primary care provider will likely listen to your artery for any abnormal sounds that could indicate a blockage.
There are few symptoms for carotid artery disease; however you should seek immediate emergency care if you experience any of the following:
- New or intense headaches
- Blindness in any part of the eye
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or loss of control of one side of your body
Risk factors for carotid artery disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history
- Lack of exercise
- Age 50+
If you are on Medicare, the presence of these risk factors may quality you for an ultrasound.
There are a variety of non-invasive options available to screen for carotid artery disease. Treatment includes lifestyle changes, medications, and surgical options. Our skilled team will work with you to determine the right treatment for symptoms, condition, and lifestyle.
Contact CMC's Vascular Nurse Navigator by calling 603.665.5154.