Vascular Associates of South Alabama offers carotid artery disease (CAD) diagnosis and treatment in Mobile, AL.
If you have concerns about the health of your carotid arteries, we can help!
Stroke is a widely recognized and highly concerning health problem for many people around the world today. Most of us are are aware of the symptoms of stroke and are familiar with the F-A-S-T mnemonic device, which is crucial for identifying a stroke promptly. We know how very important it is to seek immediate professional medical assistance for a suspected stroke. However, fewer of us know about carotid artery disease, which contributes to almost 20% of stroke cases.
Being aware of carotid artery disease (also known as CAD) is the first step to assessing your risk and improving your arterial health. The experts at Vascular Associates can help people in Mobile, AL, and surrounding areas of the Alabama Gulf Coast with diagnostics and treatment options.
Call Vascular Associates at 251-410-8272 to schedule a consultation appointment!
Medical Care for Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) in Mobile County, AL
What is the Carotid Artery, and Where is it Located?
We have two carotid arteries. They are major arteries located on either side of your neck. When a doctor takes your pulse on your neck, what they're actually doing is detecting your heart rate by feeling one of your two carotid arteries. Each carotid artery brings freshly oxygenated blood from your heart to your brain. Sufficient blood flow to the brain is absolutely essential for healthy brain function and life.
What is Carotid Artery Disease (CAD)?
Carotid artery disease develops due to the accumulation of plaque inside the artery. Plaque is built up slowly by fatty deposits. As plaque forms inside the carotid artery, it narrows the artery, obstructing blood flow. The reduced blood flow to the brain can eventually cause a transient ischemic attack (TIA).
What is a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)?
The development of carotid artery disease is slow and often asymptomatic until a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a stroke occurs.
A TIA is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain, which can cause symptoms such as numbness or weakness on one side of the body, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, difficulty speaking or slurred speech, dizziness, loss of balance, or difficulty walking.
A TIA can look similar to a stroke, but the symptoms don't last for more than a few minutes. However, the "transient" or quickly passing nature of a TIA definitely does not mean that it should be ignored! If you or someone you know has any of these symptoms, it's crucial to seek medical attention right away, even if they've passed and you're feeling better again. A TIA is a sign that you need to find medical help to avoid a more serious problem in the future.
Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) Diagnosis in the Mobile Area
Carotid artery disease poses a grave threat to health since it reduces the flow of blood to the brain, giving you a much higher chance of having a stroke. There are two ways in which CAD can trigger a stroke. Most commonly, a small bit of the plaque inside the artery can break off and obstruct the brain's blood vessels, leading to an embolism. The second, less common possibility is that the carotid artery can become so severely blocked that blood flow is completely cut off.
A stroke can be catastrophic for your brain: In a matter of minutes, oxygen deprivation caused by a stroke can inflict permanent brain damage—or even death. Stroke is a leading cause of both brain damage and death in the U.S. today.
Learn Your Risk for CAD in Mobile County, Alabama
Do you know whether or not you're at increased risk of carotid artery disease? Some risk factors for CAD are hereditary, others are linked to underlying health conditions, and a few are related to lifestyle choices:
- High Blood Pressure
Increased blood pressure can weaken and damage artery walls.
- High Cholesterol
This is a major risk factor, contributing to the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
People with diabetes have trouble processing fats and blood sugar, increasing the risk of both high blood pressure and plaque formation.
Unhealthy weight levels increase the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and CAD.
As we age, our arteries stiffen, leaving them vulnerable to damage.
This habit increases both blood pressure and heart rate. Smoking can irritate the lining of the arteries, which makes them susceptible to plaque.
- Family History
CAD can run in families, so if you have a family member who has had CAD, you might be at a higher risk, as well.
Click here to schedule a consultation or screening, if you're concerned about your risk of developing CAD.
Carotid Artery Disease Treatment Specialists in Mobile, Alabama
If you have concerns about your risk factors for CAD, or if you've experienced stroke-like symptoms, the vascular specialists at Vascular Associates of South Alabama are here to help! There are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk and manage CAD. Simple changes like stopping smoking, exercising often, and choosing a healthy diet (with limited fat, cholesterol, and alcohol) can all make a big difference in your health. If you have health conditions that increase you risk of CAD, such as high cholesterol or diabetes, managing those will help, too.
Whether you're seeking a CAD diagnosis or local treatment options, Vascular Associates can help you evaluate your condition and create a plan designed just for your unique circumstances. We can assist you with everything from lifestyle changes and medical management to life-saving surgical procedures.
We're available now to get you started on the path to better health! Contact us online with any questions, or call us at 251-410-8272 to set up an appointment.