Located in your neck, your two carotid arteries are the main vessels that supply blood to the brain, neck and face. Carotid artery disease is the result of atherosclerosis — the buildup of plaque (fatty substances, calcium and waste) in the lining of those arteries. This buildup narrows the passageway inside the arteries, restricting blood flow.
Carotid artery disease develops slowly over time. Symptoms are subtle and generally go unnoticed until the artery becomes nearly or fully blocked. In many cases, carotid artery disease isn't detected until you experiences a transient ischemic attack (TIA), one of several types of stroke often referred to as a mini-stroke.