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Carotid artery disease

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Home Services Heart & Vascular Conditions Carotid artery disease

Reducing your risk of stroke with an accurate diagnosis

Carotid artery disease, or carotid artery stenosis, refers to the narrowing of the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries provide blood flow to the front part of your brain that controls speaking, thinking and personality. These arteries buildup cholesterol and plaque over time and may prevent sufficient blood flow due to to your brain, increasing your risk of having a stroke.

If you have recently been diagnosed with carotid artery disease, you need treatment from a team of heart and vascular experts that are committed to reducing your chance of a stroke. In addition to helping you make the necessary lifestyle changes, the team at Novant Health can also provide a variety of treatment options to ensure you continue living a happy and healthy life.


Carotid artery disease risk factors

You may not have any symptoms of carotid artery disease. Risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Family history of coronary/carotid artery disease

Symptoms of transient ischemic attack (TIA) or "mini-stroke"

A TIA, or mini-stroke, occurs when a blood clot briefly blocks an artery and is the most important warning sign of a stroke. If you feel you or a loved one is having a mini-stroke, call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room. Symptoms of a mini-stroke include:

  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Weakness and/or numbness on one side of the face, in one arm or leg or on one side of the body
  • Slurred speech, difficulty talking or understanding what others are saying
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Difficulty swallowing

Find a Novant Health location near you to learn more about regular exams to keep you healthy.