Arteries don’t become clogged overnight. It can take decades for the blockage to reach the point where it’s noticed. In fact, many people don’t detect the narrowing of their arteries until it leads to severe complications.
For some individuals, there aren’t even any symptoms until the clog blocks at least 70% of the artery. At this point, they may experience chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness, or weakness. There could also be a few other symptoms, depending on the location of the blockage.
For instance, when the arteries carrying blood to the heart become blocked, it leads to coronary artery disease. The most common symptoms of this condition are chest pain or shortness of breath. Unfortunately, for some individuals, there are no noticeable symptoms until a stroke occurs, which could be fatal.
Carotid artery disease is the result of blocked arteries in the sides of the neck. When they become too narrow for blood to flow properly, a stroke is the result. As well as the common symptoms, this type of blockage could also cause a few others. These include weakness, numbness, or inability to move one side of the body, slurring, or partial loss of vision.
Peripheral artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries carrying blood to the legs. The loss of oxygen can cause pain, numbness, infection, reduced healing, coldness, and gangrene in the legs and feet. There could also be no symptoms at all.
Regardless of where the blocked arteries are located, the lifespan of those with the condition can vary. It depends on a few factors, including genetics, lifestyle, diet, stress level, and underlying health conditions. The healthier the individual, the slower arteries will narrow, and the longer their lifespan will be. Others may only have a few years before the clogged artery causes further complications, including death.