Carotid Artery Occlusion and Receiving Social Security Disability
Located just under your jaw line on each side of your neck are your carotid arteries. Your carotid arteries are the two large blood vessels that provide oxygenated blood to the front area of your head and your brain. This is the part of your brain where thinking, personality, speech functions, motor, sensory and personality are located.
Your carotid arteries are much like your coronary arteries that supply blood to your heart in this important aspect. Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) can take place on the inside of these blood vessels.
Hardening of the arteries is a condition that usually occurs over a long period of time as a result of the accumulation of cholesterol deposits that are referred to as plaque and fatty substances. These substances cause your carotid arteries to constrict or narrow. This, in turn, results in your risk of having a stroke being greater due to the supply of blood being decreased to your brain.
Carotid artery stenosis is a disease that is marked by your carotid arteries becoming blocked or narrowed. When one of your carotid arteries reaches the point of being totally blocked, the disease is referred to as carotid artery occlusion.
As stated above, carotid artery occlusion is usually brought about by atherosclerosis. This is the gradual accumulation over an extended period of time of fatty substances and cholesterol that narrows and constricts your carotid arteries.
There are risk factors that may increase your risk of having carotid artery occlusion take place. Some of these include:
? Kidney disease, especially if you have had to have dialysis
? Having diabetes
? Drug abuse with cocaine
? Living a non-active, sedentary lifestyle
? Having a family history of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
? Being a smoker
? Having hypertension (high blood pressure)
? Having high cholesterol or abnormal lipids
? Reaching an advanced age
? The excessive use of alcohol
? Suffering from insulin resistance
? Having a diet that is high in saturated fats.
You may not experience any signs or symptoms at all during the early stages of carotid artery occlusion. As carotid artery occlusion progresses, it may produce signs and symptoms of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A transient ischemic attack can be an early warning indication of a stroke that may take place at some point of time in the future. Some of the possible signs and symptoms of carotid artery occlusion are:
? Dysphagia (problems with swallowing)
? Blurring of your vision
? A loss of memory
? Difficulty with your speech and language
? Weakness that develops in some part of your body
? A sudden, severe headache
? The occurrence of sudden dizziness and/or confusion
? Sudden problems that develop with loss of balance, walking or lack of coordination
? A loss of sensation.
Your doctor will probably do a complete physical exam, want to know about your signs and symptoms and ask about your personal and family medical history in order to diagnose your carotid artery occlusion. There are diagnostic procedures and tests that will help confirm this diagnosis. Some of these include:
? An ultrasound
? A MRA (magnetic resonance angiography)
? A cerebral angiogram
? A CTA ( computerized tomography angiography).
Have you become disabled and unable to work because of carotid artery occlusion and/or complications that have been caused by it or other disorders that you have besides this disease? Because of this, you may need financial assistance.
Have you filed for Social Security disability benefits or disability benefits from the Social Security Administration? Did the Social Security Administration reject your application?
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