There are usually no symptoms. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of a stroke or a
transient ischemic attack
(TIA or mini-stroke). This is a warning sign that you may have carotid artery stenosis. Symptoms may include:
Blindness, blurry or dim vision
Weakness, numbness, or tingling of the face, arm, leg, or one side of the body
Difficulty speaking or understanding words
Lightheadedness, unsteadiness of gait, or falling
Trouble with balance or coordination
Loss of consciousness
Nausea or vomiting
Sudden confusion or loss of memory
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
The goal of treatment is to prevent carotid artery stenosis from causing inadequate blood flow to the brain or causing a stroke. Treatment will depend on:
The severity of your condition
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
Medication and Lifestyle Changes
If there are no symptoms and if plaque build-up is not severe, medications like aspirin may be given to help prevent a stroke from occurring. Lifestyle changes are also an important part of treatment. Some actions you can take to reduce your risk of stroke include:
smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
If you have diabetes, get proper treatment.
If you have high cholesterol, work with your doctor to lower the levels.
If you have high blood pressure, work to get it under control.
Surgery may be needed if the arteries have severe plaque build-up. One kind of surgery is called
carotid endarterectomy. This involves opening the artery and cleaning the plaque from it. Another surgery that may be done is carotid angioplasty and stenting. In this surgery, a balloon is inserted into the artery to widen it. Then a metal mesh, called a stent, is inserted to keep the artery open so that blood can flow freely.
To help reduce your chance of getting carotid artery stenosis, you will need to decrease the risk factors that you can control. For example, you can reduce your cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight. Here are some steps to decrease these risk factors:
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