A brain or cerebral aneurysm is caused by the dilation or bulging of part of the wall of an artery in the brain.
If the aneurysm has not ruptured, treatment may be recommended for symptomatic, large or irregularly shaped aneurysms. If an aneurysm ruptures, emergency treatment is often required to restore breathing and reduce the abnormally high pressure within the brain.
Small aneurysms may be symptom-free, but larger ones may cause loss of feeling in the face or eye problems.
If they rupture, severe headache, nausea, visual impairment, vomiting and loss of consciousness or a stroke may occur.
According to a study in the journal Stroke, about one third of the aneurysms eventually rupture—an event that proves fatal about 40 percent of the time.
Numerous medical conditions are associated with this condition, including certain connective tissue disorders as well as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (fatty deposits in the arteries of the body). Adequate treatment of these conditions is a good first step towards preventing the development of such a cerebral aneurysm.
Don’t blow off a sudden, severe headache—especially if it goes hand in hand with strange symptoms like a droopy eyelid, double vision, or a single dilated pupil.
That might signal the aneurysm pressing against nerves in your brain.
Early detection is key: If doctors find an aneurysm before it bursts open, they can repair it with surgery or other treatments.
Step up your vigilance if your doc says your blood pressure is on the high side, Dr. Wydro says. The harder your blood pushes against an aneurysm, the greater the chance it ruptures.
By: The Editors of Men’s Health, additional reporting by Cindy Kuzma