Heart Disease – A Blocked Carotid Artery

The carotid artery disease involves the narrowing of blood vessels due to the accumulation of fatty deposits in the inner vessel surface. The incident of arteries hardening would restrict the flow of blood to the brain. This disease would hail other cardio-related problems and might put one's life at high risk. Hence one should always be aware of the symptoms of blocked carotid artery in order to trigger early detection and treatment.

Although there is no specific symptom or sign of carotid artery disease, it is never too difficult to determine if one is diagnosed with the disease. Warning signs of stroke are sufficient to tell if there is blockage in the carotid arteries. One of the most important warnings is the transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) which may indicate you may soon be attacked by stroke. At times, it could happen in the form of "mini-strokes".

In most cases, a doctor is able to conclude if one is having the carotid artery disease during a normal checkup. The doctor may ask if you have had stroke symptoms and by placing a stethoscope on the carotid artery in your neck, your doctor can listen for the rushing sound called a bruit. However the accuracy of this test is low and the results may be misleading. Thus for further confirmation, the doctor would use some diagnostic tools. For example, the Doppler Ultrasound Imaging which uses sound waves to test blood flow and measure the artery thickness.

The other symptoms of blocked carotid artery may be weakness or paralysis of your arm, leg or face on one side of body. There may also be trouble in swallowing, loss of eyesight or blurry eyesight in one eye. Besides, one may experience numbness or tingling of the arm, leg or face on one side of the body. People having arteries blockage may also encounter dizziness, confusion, fainting or even coma.

Angina pectoris is another symptom for blocked carotid artery. It creates pain in the chest due to myocardial ischemia, a situation where the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart muscle is inadequate. Another listed sign of this symptom is the heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction (MI). This is due to the progressive accretion of fatty deposits which narrows the arteries and decreases blood pressures in the vessels. A decreased flow of blood may cause insufficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients into the heart resulting in the heart muscles being damaged. The occurrence of the heart attack is when the weak muscles of the heart trigger an electrical activity that causes ventricular fibrillation, an uncoordinated twitching that replaces the heart contractions to pump blood to other parts of the body. In most cases, patients are unaware of the symptoms hence leading to late detection and risky stages. Thus it is crucially important to learn about the symptoms of a disease before it is too late.