Carotid Artery Disease

Dr. Alrich L. Gray // Central Montana Heart & Vascular Institute

Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease occurs when the carotid arteries (the arteries that deliver blood to your brain and head) become narrowed. The carotid arteries usually become narrowed due to a buildup of plaque, which can put you at risk for stroke. Some symptoms of carotid artery disease are:

  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden weakness or numbness in the face or limbs, often on one side of the body
  • Slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding what others are saying
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Severe headache

To treat carotid artery disease, your doctor may put you on medications that will prevent blood clotting. Your doctor may also perform an angioplasty – in this procedure, a stent is inserted to the narrowed part of your carotid artery. The stent, which is shaped like a hollow mesh tube, will widen the artery and keep it open, improving blood flow to your head and brain.