With age the arteries that supply our brains can harden and narrow, increasing risk of stroke. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood around the body. Narrowing of arteries increases with age and can lead to many different complications. The Carotid Artery supplies the head and the neck.
Carotid Stenosis is the hardening of the artery that supplies the brain. "Most commonly, it affects people of a older age. They're at high risk, and the reason's because the most common cause of this stenosis or narrowing is arteriosclerosis, is high cholesterol, calcifications, plaque disease," according to Dr. Khumara Huseynova, a vascular surgeon at WVU Healthcare.
Symptoms of Carotid Artery Stenosis include loss of feeling in the lower extremities, blurry vision, and slurred speech. "Usually symptoms occur opposite to the blocked or stenosed, narrowed area," said Dr. Huseynova. An ultrasound can detect the narrowing of arteries. Elderly males and people with high cholesterol or who smoke are at higher risk.
Keeping blood pressure under control and controlling high cholesterol are important. Medications may be necessary. When it comes to smoking, it makes the arteries very inflamed and prone to developing calcifications.
If a person experiences mini stroke or stroke symptoms, their risk of a second stroke can be as high as ten percent.