Carotid Artery Disease - Symptoms

What were your symptoms of carotid artery disease?

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What are the symptoms of carotid artery disease?

Carotid artery disease in itself has no symptoms. It is only when blood flow to parts of the brain is decreased that the diagnosis is made. Decreased blood supply to the brain may result in either a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or stroke (CVA, or cerebrovascular accident).

A transient ischemic attack is a stroke-like group of symptoms that resolves on its own and should be considered a warning sign that a stroke is imminent.

Symptoms for a TIA may include:

  • weakness and/or numbness on one side of the body including the face,
  • difficulty with speech,
  • loss of vision,
  • loss of balance, or
  • confusion.

While the symptoms tend to resolve on their own in a few minutes, they may last up to 24 hours.

Signs and symptoms of a stroke are similar to a TIA but the effects are permanent without successful treatment.

Since there is no way of knowing whether the symptoms will resolve, any of these symptoms should be considered a medical emergency and the patient or family should call 911 to activate the emergency medical services. Individuals who are having stroke symptoms may be candidates for treatment with clot busting drugs or thrombolytics, but the treatment must be initiated within 3 to 4 hours from the first onset of these symptoms.

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