One of the potentially life-threatening conditions could be a brain aneurysm. This is a condition that affects the brain and it can take several forms. It is better to know about the signs of a brain aneurysm to avoid any delay in the diagnosis and treatment procedure. Read below to know about the 6 signs of a brain aneurysm you should know.
Brain Aneurysm: An Overview
A brain aneurysm is a condition, which occurs when a weak spot in the arterial walls of your brain bulges and gets filled with blood. This might also be called a cerebral aneurysm or intracranial aneurysm. It is a potentially life-threatening condition affecting anyone at any age. It would be an emergency if a brain aneurysm bursts and it can cause brain damage, a stroke, and even death if it is not treated immediately.
We would mention that all brain aneurysms will not rupture. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, it has been found that around 6 million people in the US have some forms of brain aneurysms that have not ruptured.(1) It is estimated that 50% to 80% of all brain aneurysms will never rupture in an individual’s lifetime.
A brain aneurysm can sometimes cause serious injury to the brain, and thus it is essential to know what they are or what are the signs of a brain aneurysm. Brain aneurysms can take several forms.
It has been stated by Stanford Health Care that almost 90% of brain aneurysms are saccular, or “berry” aneurysms.(2) This type of aneurysm forms a sac outside the artery that seems to look like a berry. A fusiform aneurysm is a rare aneurysm that results in the artery to bulge all the way around. A brain aneurysm can also take the form of a dissecting aneurysm where there is a tear in one of the several linings of the artery in the brain. This can leak blood into the outer layers and also block the artery.
We can also categorize a brain aneurysm into three primary types, which include, a ruptured brain aneurysm, a leaking aneurysm, and an unruptured aneurysm. We will talk about the signs of these aneurysms in the following sections. However, before that, we must know what exactly causes a brain aneurysm?
Some events can encourage the rupture or development of a brain aneurysm. It was concluded from a study in the American Heart Association’s Journal Stroke that some factors might trigger the rupture of an existing brain aneurysm.(3) These factors are excessive consumption of soda or coffee, excessive exercise, intense anger, straining during bowel movements, sexual intercourse, and startling. In some person’s lifetime certain aneurysms in the brain develop over time, some aneurysms are inherited, and some are the results of brain injuries.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease or ADPKD is an inherited condition that is known to affect the functioning of the kidneys. This condition also produces cobweb-like, cysts in the brain tissue. ADPKD is a condition that raises your blood pressure, which in turn weakens blood vessels in your brain and elsewhere in your body. So, ADPKD can also result in a brain aneurysm.
One more condition that can lead to brain aneurysms is Marfan’s syndrome. This condition is also inherited and usually affects the genes that control the formation of the connective tissues of the body. When there is damage to the structures of the arteries, there develop weaknesses that can cause brain aneurysms.
A serious infection in the body can cause an aneurysm, especially if the infection damages the arteries. Chronic high blood pressure and smoking are also few sources of several types of brain aneurysms.
6 Signs Of A Brain Aneurysm You Should Know:
Now, let us take a look at the 6 signs of a brain aneurysm you should know. Though there are several signs and symptoms of a brain aneurysm, we will talk about 6 of the major signs here.
Sudden Extremely Severe Headache:
If there is a brain aneurysm, one might experience a sudden extremely severe headache. A sudden and severe headache is basically the key symptom of a ruptured aneurysm. Usually, this type of headache is generally described as the worst headache ever experienced by someone in a lifetime. In case of a leaking brain aneurysm, the aneurysm might leak a slight amount of blood, and this leaking of blood can cause an extremely severe sudden headache. Such headaches are associated with vomiting, nausea, and change in vision. You should talk to your healthcare professional about your condition and get yourself diagnosed and treated well.
Loss Of Consciousness And Confusion:
One of the most important signs of a brain aneurysm is the loss of consciousness and confusion. Generally, these signs are experienced by people with a ruptured aneurysm of the brain. They might also experience sensitivity to the light, a drooping eyelid, and seizures, along with loss of consciousness and confusion.
One might also experience a symptom of a stiff neck if they have a brain aneurysm. In the case of a leaking aneurysm, there might be pain and stiffness in your neck. A subarachnoid hemorrhage can cause stiffness of the neck since the meninges get inflamed.
Change In Vision Or Double Vision:
An unruptured brain aneurysm might cause no symptoms at all, especially if it is small. But, a larger unruptured aneurysm in the brain might press the brain tissues and nerves and cause symptoms like a dilated pupil, double vision, or a change in vision.
Pain Above And Behind An Eye:
A brain aneurysm also results in pain above and also behind an eye. So, if you are experiencing this type of symptom then you should consult with your doctor.
Numbness Of One Side Of The Face:
One of the 6 signs of a brain aneurysm you should know is the numbness of one side of your face. This sign is experienced by a person, mostly if they have an unruptured aneurysm, though it can also be a sign of any other form of a brain aneurysm.
We talked about the 6 signs of a brain aneurysm you should know. A ruptured brain aneurysm is always an emergency. The usual treatments for such types of brain aneurysms include surgery to stop the bleeding by clipping the blood vessel or by a bypass. However, if the aneurysm has not ruptured, then you have several treatment options like certain changes in lifestyle, such as managing your blood pressure if you have high blood pressure, quitting smoking, exercising, and eating a healthy and balanced diet that can help you in reducing the risk of developing a brain aneurysm too. You should also avoid stimulants, such as caffeine, and also avoid strenuous activities.
Learning that you have a brain aneurysm might be frightening. You should, however, talk to your doctor about various treatment options and also various ways to avoid or minimize the risk of complications in your condition.
- What Can Cause Brain Aneurysm or Cerebral Aneurysm and How is it Treated?
- What It Feels Like To Have A Brain Aneurysm, Know its Treatment & Recovery
- Detecting Brain Aneurysm: What Does It Feel Like When You Have A Brain Aneurysm?
- How Long Can You Have A Brain Aneurysm?
- What are the Warning Signs of a Brain Aneurysm?
- How Do You Prevent a Brain Aneurysm?
- What are the Odds of Surviving a Brain Aneurysm?