What is Carotid Artery Disease?
Writer: Prof. Dr. Yavuz Besogul
Carotid Artery Disease
Carotid arteries, popularly known as jugular veins, are arteries located on both sides of the neck that carry blood and oxygen to the brain. Carotid artery diseases refer to diseases that occur as a result of the narrowing or occlusion of these vessels due to the deterioration of their flexible and smooth structure. The main cause of carotid artery diseases is atherosclerosis, also known as arteriosclerosis. Plaques formed by the accumulation of fat cells as a result of the deterioration of the vascular structure and clots formed due to narrowing of the vessel pose a danger to both the carotid artery and the brain vessels. Plaques accumulated in the carotid artery can break off and cause blockages in the brain vessels. This can cause conditions such as paralysis and stroke.
The effects of risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, excess weight, and smoking on the cardiovascular vessels also apply to the carotid vessels.
Symptoms of Carotid Artery Diseases
The main symptoms of carotid artery diseases are:
- intense headache
- visual disturbances
- Numbness and loss of strength in the face, arms and legs
- Difficulty speaking and understanding
Considering that carotid artery diseases often occur together with cardiovascular diseases, there is great benefit in controlling the carotid vessels of these patients. Thanks to early tests and examinations, bad outcomes such as stroke can be prevented. However, it should not be forgotten that blocked carotid arteries must be intervened urgently.