What Are the Symptoms of a Blocked Artery in Your Neck?
Carotid artery disease is the medical term for a blocked artery in your neck. Located on both sides of your neck, your carotid artery delivers blood to your brain. If plaque begins to build up on your arteries (atherosclerosis), this will cause a disruption in blood low and could lead to a stroke.
Blocked Neck Artery Symptoms
Unfortunately, in the early stages, carotid artery disease may not have any outward symptoms. However, if the carotid artery becomes 80% blocked or more, you could start to experience the symptoms of a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack or TIA).
Symptoms of a blocked artery include the SUDDEN development of:
- Numbness or weakness in your face, legs or arms – typically on one side of the body
- Drooping on one side of your face
- Garbled speech
- Severe headache
- Vision problems
CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY if you are experiencing any of these symptoms! A stroke is a medical emergency: if your brain is deprived of oxygen for too long, your brain cells will begin to die.
Reasons for a Blocked Artery
Plaque buildup on your arteries can be comprised of a collection of cholesterol, fat, protein, calcium and cellular waste. While plaque buildup can occur naturally as you grow older, certain conditions and lifestyle habits can increase your risk for carotid artery disease: smoking, tobacco use, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and physical inactivity.
Reduce Your Risk: Make Healthy Life Choices
Knowing the risk factors, it makes sense that the best way to prevent carotid artery disease is by living as healthy a life as possible. Stop smoking; keep your body weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure in healthy ranges; get regular exercise; and control your blood sugar levels. The primary care doctors at Westgate Family Physicians can assess your current health and make recommendations for lifestyle improvements. By adding an exercise regimen and changing your diet, you may be able to ward off serious conditions such as carotid artery disease.
If you are concerned about your risk factors for getting a blocked neck artery in Spartanburg, SC, contact Westgate Family Physicians today. We have been serving our community with compassionate, Christian faith-based health care since 1977. We treat our patients like family and will do everything possible to help you live a long, healthy life. Call (864) 574-0070 or click here to schedule an appointment.