In carotid artery disease, the vessels that run along both sides of your neck delivering oxygen-rich blood to your brain become narrowed due to the buildup of cholesterol-based plaque. These narrowed arteries can cause several health problems, including the slow deterioration of brain tissue due to oxygen deprivation and stroke.
Equipped with the latest technologies and digital imaging, Dignity Health Southern California’s heart care services address every part of your heart health — from prevention to disease management to treatment. To learn more about the care our experts provide for carotid artery disease at one of our convenient locations in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and San Bernardino, Find a Doctor online.
Carotid Artery Disease Risk Factors
Factors that increase the risk of carotid artery disease include:
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Persistently high blood sugar levels
- High cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
Carotid Artery Disease Symptoms
A transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke) or stroke may be the first sign you have carotid artery disease. Most people do not experience any signs and symptoms of carotid artery disease until the disease is advanced.
Carotid artery disease is sometimes discovered during a routine health exam. Bruit (pronounced ‘broo-EE’) is a characteristic whooshing sound from narrowed carotid arteries your doctor can hear with a stethoscope. A vascular ultrasound can confirm the presence and severity of carotid stenosis (narrowing).
Treatment of Carotid Artery Disease at Dignity Health Southern California
Carotid artery disease treatment usually focuses on reducing cholesterol buildup. Your doctor may also suggest the following strategies to prevent the disease from worsening:
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Exercising most days of the week
- Medications to reduce blood cholesterol levels, hypertension, and other heart-related conditions
- Medications to prevent blood clots
- Surgery to either clear the plaque from the carotid arteries or stents inserted into the arteries to hold them open
Dignity Health offers comprehensive and compassionate care for carotid artery disease in Southern California.