Carotid stenosis occurs once the arteries become constricted or narrowed. The carotid arteries are positioned in the neck and responsible for supplying the brain with oxygen and blood. In most circumstances, this is caused by the development of atherosclerosis which is the buildup of plaque on the arterial walls.
It is important to note that carotid stenosis reduces the amount of oxygen and blood that the brain receives. Once this occurs, the cells inside the brain are damaged or even die which results to a stroke. If the signs are evident, a doctor should be consulted so that the suitable treatment can be started to properly manage the condition.
Carotid stenosis can occur without any symptoms. This is why it is vital that the individual has regular check-ups to ensure that the cholesterol levels are in check. Additionally, the doctor can utilize a stethoscope to listen to the arteries in the neck. If the individual has carotid artery disease, he/she might hear an erratic heart sound which is called a bruit or whooshing sound as the blood moves via the arteries. If this sound is heard, further tests might be carried out to confirm a diagnosis.
What are the other indications of carotid stenosis?
If an individual is starting to develop narrowing of the carotid arteries, he/she might also develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even perceive the swishing sound in the ears that is produced as the blood travels via a blockage.
In most cases, the individual feels dizzy and lightheaded and experience symptoms that are so general that he/she might not suspect a serious condition.
What are the severe symptoms?
There are cases in which the only warning indication is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) which is a mini stroke or a full stroke. In both conditions, the individual can develop numbness or paralysis on one side of the body, headache, blurry vision, difficulty speaking and issues with responding to others.
A transient ischemic attack is typically quick and does not leave any lasting damage. it is basically a warning indication that the individual is at high risk for developing a stroke.