The symptoms of a carotid bruit are weakness or numbness in the patient's face or on one side of the body; trouble speaking, swallowing or remembering; vision loss; dizziness; and a severe headache. These symptoms come on suddenly, says Mayo Clinic and WebMD.
A carotid bruit is actually the swooshing sound the doctor hears when he listens to blood flowing through the patient's carotid artery, says Mayo Clinic. This may be an indication that the carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain, has narrowed. This puts the patient at risk for stroke, a transient ischemic attack or other carotid artery disease. However, some patients with a carotid bruit have no symptoms, and the bruit is found only incidentally, says WebMD.