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What Does A Brain Aneurysm Feel Like

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How Worried Should I Be About An Aneurysm

The Ones For Wellness: A Look At Brain Aneurysms

In short: not very.

Because of their silent nature, the idea of a lurking aneurysm can be anxiety-inducing, especially for people who suffer from severe headaches that are often times confused with a ruptured aneurysm. While there are around 30,000 cases of ruptured brain aneurysms each year in the U.S., thats a very small percent of the countrys population.

About 1 in 50 people probably have an unruptured aneurysm, but the rate of one rupturing is only about 7-10 in every 100,000 people, Chitale said.

How To Know If You Have An Aneurysm

There are several tests doctors can perform if you have a family history of aneurysms or a genetic condition that can cause one to form. Occasionally, an aneurysm reaches a size that makes it press against nerves in the brain, causing a series of symptoms that can be warning signs. These include:

  • Blurred or double vision

  • Pain or drooping in one eye

  • Stiff neck

  • Weakness and numbness

In these cases, doctors can run MRIs or CAT scans and can also do a small procedure called a diagnostic cerebral angiogram, where they use catheters and X-rays to examine the blood vessels within the brain.

Be Aware Of These Brain Aneurysm Symptoms

You can indeed have a brain aneurysm and not know it, says , a neurosurgeon with the Cerebrovascular Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. If the aneurysm has not ruptured, it typically causes no symptoms, according to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.

See a doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms, Dr. Bain says, which may mean an aneurysm is pressing on your brain or nerves:

  • Headache in one spot
  • Pain above or behind your eye
  • Dilated pupils
  • Weakness and numbness
  • Slurred speech

If the aneurysm ruptures and blood spills into the space around your brain, you could have what you’d consider the worst headache of your life.

Some patients describe it as being hit in the back of a head by a sledgehammer, Bain says. Other symptoms include those that Mureddu experienced: nausea, vomiting, and sudden blurred or double vision, as well as a stiff neck, dizziness, sensitivity to light, and drooping eyelids. You also could have a stroke, notes the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

If the aneurysm doesn’t rupture, your doctor may recommend treatment or careful monitoring. Once it ruptures, it should be treated with either open surgery or endovascular surgery, which is done within the blood vessels.

Weve taken a page out of the heart doctors book, Bain says. In some cases, a surgeon can thread a catheter through the femoral artery to the brain and place coils to seal off the aneurysm.

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Aortic Aneurysm Treatment Options

The doctor may monitor an unruptured aortic aneurysm, if no symptoms are evident. Medications and preventive measures may form part of conservative management, or they may accompany active surgical treatment.

A ruptured aneurysm needs emergency surgery. Without immediate repair, patients have a low chance of survival.

The decision to operate on an unruptured aneurysm in the aorta depends on a number of factors related to the individual patient and features of the aneurysm.

These include:

  • the age, general health, coexisting conditions and personal choice of the patient
  • the size of the aneurysm relative to its location in the thorax or abdomen, and the aneurysms rate of growth
  • the presence of chronic abdominal pain or risk of thromboembolism, as these may also necessitate surgery

A large or rapidly growing aortic aneurysm is more likely to need surgery. There are two options for surgery:

  • open surgery to fit a synthetic or stent graft
  • endovascular stent-graft surgery.

In endovascular surgery, the surgeon accesses the blood vessels through a small incision near the hip. Stent-graft surgery inserts an endovascular graft through this incision using a catheter. The graft is then positioned in the aorta to seal off the aneurysm.

In an open AAA repair, a large incision is made in the abdomen to expose the aorta. A graft can then be applied to repair the aneurysm.

Endovascular surgery for the repair of aortic aneurysms carries the following risks:

Symptoms Of An Unruptured Brain Aneurysm

1TheTopest: what does a brain aneurysm feel like

A brain aneurysm rarely causes any symptoms unless it bursts .

Unruptured brain aneurysms occasionally cause symptoms if they’re particularly large or press against tissues or nerves inside the brain.

Symptoms of an unruptured brain aneurysm can include:

  • visual disturbances, such as loss of vision or double vision
  • pain above or around your eye
  • numbness or weakness on 1 side of your face
  • difficulty speaking
  • loss of balance
  • difficulty concentrating or problems with short-term memory

You should see a GP as soon as possible if you experience symptoms of an unruptured brain aneurysm.

Although most aneurysms will not rupture, it’s important to get it checked in case treatment is necessary.

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Symptoms Caused By Low Numbers Of Blood Cells

Most signs and symptoms of ALL are the result of shortages of normal blood cells, which happen when the leukemia cells crowd out the normal blood-making cells in the bone marrow. These shortages show up on blood tests, but they can also cause symptoms, including:

  • Feeling tired
  • Bleeding, such as frequent or severe nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or heavy menstrual bleeding in women

How Are Brain Aneurysms Treated

Surgery and/or endovascular therapy are the treatment for brain aneurysms, whether they are ruptured or unruptured.

Open surgical clipping

During this procedure, your surgeon cuts a small opening in your skull to access the aneurysm. Using a tiny microscope and instruments, your surgeon attaches a small metal clip at the base of the aneurysm to pinch it off. This blocks blood from flowing into the aneurysm. The surgery can stop a brain bleed or keep an intact aneurysm from breaking open. Recovery time is different for ruptured and unruptured aneurysms. This procedure is considered to be durable with a low recurrence rate.

Endovascular therapy

For this procedure, your surgeon doesnt need to create an opening in your skull. Instead, a doctor inserts a catheter in a blood vessel, usually in the groin or wrist, and threads it to your brain.

Through the catheter, your doctor places a ball of wires , most often made of platinum, in the aneurysm, sometimes with the help of small stents or balloons. Recently another small device , which looks like a mesh ball, made of nickel titanium, also became available, and works in a similar fashion as coils. Both methods result in blood clot formation around and inside the wire ball or web device, and block blood flow into the aneurysm, reducing or eliminating the risk of rupture.

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Where Does Your Head Hurt If You Have A Brain Aneurysm

A headache caused by a brain aneurysm will make you feel as though your head is about to implode. They often seem to happen all at once, rather than building up over time. If you have pressure above and behind one eye, dilated eyes, drooping eyelids, or facial paralysis on one side, you should see a doctor.

There Were No Warning Signs That Something May Be Wrong

Knowing brain aneurysm warning signs and symptoms saved this survivor. It could help you too! | BAF

On 22 February 2015, 43-year-old Claire Cowlishaw sustained a devastating brain injury following two ruptured aneurysms that would leave her with severe short-term memory problems and challenge her inseparably close relationship with her 18-year-old daughter, Lauren.

  • Cocaine abuse
  • Other medical conditions

In some very rare cases, sustaining a severe head injury can cause an aneurysm to develop. It is also rare, although possible, that having a family history of a brain aneurysm can increase the chances of developing one.

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Internal Bleeding In Your Head

This can cause:

The presence of other underlying conditions may help doctors identify if youre losing blood somewhere.

For example,anemia is commonly associated with a slow and chronic internal bleeding. It can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.

Some people with internal bleeding will also have low blood pressure because of the constant blood loss. This is known as orthostatic hypotension. Common symptoms include feeling dizzy or light-headed when you stand.

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What Should You Do If You Think You Have An Aneurysm

If you have a family history of brain aneurysms or you feel like you may have one, speak with your doctor about your concerns. To detect a brain aneurysm, you would have to have a brain scan that allows your doctor to see the blood vessels in your brain as the blood shows through. Possible types of brain scans include:

  • Computed tomographic angiography : This type of brain scan follows dye that was injected into your vein as it travels through the blood vessels in your brain.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography : An MRA is similar to a CT scan, but while a CT scan uses radiation similar to X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging machines use magnetic and radio waves to make the images on a screen.
  • Diagnostic cerebral angiography : Although a DCA can detect smaller aneurysms than a CTA or MRA can, this test is not usually a first choice as it is an invasive procedure. A small incision is made in your groin so your doctor can insert a long catheter that is threaded up to your neck and your brain. A dye is injected through the catheter, and X-rays are taken of your brain as the dye flows through the blood vessels.

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What Increases The Risk Of Brain Hemorrhage

The following factors increase the risk of brain hemorrhage:

  • High blood pressure: 80% of brain hemorrhages are found in people having high blood pressure. Blood pressure can be controlled with the help of balanced diet, exercise and meditation.
  • Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of brain hemorrhage.
  • Certain drugs: Certain drugs like cocaine, coumadin etc can lead to brain hemorrhages.

Untreated brain hemorrhages can lead to stroke, loss of brain function and death. Hence, if you notice any of the above symptoms, consult a neurologist online at eVaidya now!

Symptoms Of Brain Aneurysm: What It Feels Like To Have A Brain Aneurysm

how do they coil a brain aneurysm

People suffering from a brain aneurysm initially experience a strange, chronic and nagging headache along with stiff neck, sensitivity towards light and tingling sensation in their face. They generally dismiss the problem thinking of it as a migraine attack. They do not take the issue seriously until it aggravates and causes vomiting, blurry vision and occasional unconsciousness. Generally it is only at this stage that most patients seek medical help.

One may indeed have brain aneurysm and not know of it since un-ruptured aneurysm hardly causes any symptoms. However, when symptoms like headache in a single spot, double vision, pain behind or above the eyes, fatigue, dilated pupils, slurry speech or weakness and numbness occur, one should immediately consult a doctor. These may be signals of an aneurysm pressing on the nerves or brain.

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How Is An Aneurysm Treated

Treatment typically depends on the location and type of aneurysm.

For example, a weakened area of a vessel in your chest and abdomen may require a type of surgery called an endovascular stent graft. This minimally invasive procedure may be used over traditional open surgery because it involves repairing and reinforcing damaged blood vessels. The procedure also reduces the chance of infection, scarring, and other problems.

Other treatments can include medications that treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Certain types of beta-blockers may also be prescribed to lower blood pressure. Lowering your blood pressure may keep your aneurysm from rupturing.

When Should You Go To The Er For A Headache

If you have a headache, seek medical help right away: After youve hit your head. When dizziness, vision issues, slurred voice, or a lack of balance are present. If you have a headache, a sore neck, or are vomiting, you should see a doctor.

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Who Is At Risk For A Brain Aneurysm

For the most part, aneurysms occur by chance and are typically only diagnosed during a brain scan for other conditions, but there are some diseases associated with higher risk, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndromes and adult polycystic kidney disease, Chitale said.

With any chronic condition, its imperative to talk to your physician about risk factors and any necessary screenings, he said. We also typically screen family members if two or more people in the same family have had an aneurysm.

Patients who smoke, use certain drugs like cocaine, or have high blood pressure are more likely to have an aneurysm, Chitale added. They are also more common in women, people of color and older populations.

A Serious Brain Aneurysm

Warning signs to spot a brain aneurysm

I was in denial about having a brain aneurysm. I thought, maybe it is something else, especially because my symptoms went away and I was able to go home from the hospital, said Milton.

Even though Milton knew he needed to see a neurosurgeon right away, he said, Reality only set in after I had sat down with Dr. Lebovitz and he said my situation was serious enough to investigate the aneurysm further.

Dr. Jonathon Lebovitz is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon who specializes in cerebrovascular neurosurgery and treating conditions involving blood vessels of the brain and spinal cord. He offers patients minimally invasive techniques to aid in faster recovery including advanced transradial neurointerventions.

Dr. Jonathon Lebovitz, Neurosurgery

Dr. Lebovitz recommended Milton have an angiogram to get more information and develop an effective treatment plan for him. Dr. Lebovitz performed the angiogram imaging of the inside of the blood vessels at Danbury Hospital.

I knew exactly what to expect during the angiogram because Dr. Lebovitz explained it well. I just had a little dot on my wrist from where he entered an artery with a tiny tube. I did not feel like I was operated on in any way, said Milton. The experience gave me confidence that if he had to go into my brain, it would be okay.

Miltons brain aneurysm before Dr. Lebovitz treated it

Milton said he felt lucky his aneurysm was detected.

My sister gave me confidence, too, said Milton.

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How Is A Diagnosis Made

When a person is brought to the emergency room with a suspected brain hemorrhage, doctors will learn as much as possible about his or her symptoms, current and previous medical problems, medications, and family history. The persons condition is assessed quickly. Diagnostic tests will help determine the source of the bleeding.

  • Computed Tomography is a noninvasive X-ray that provides detailed images of anatomical structures within the brainand to detect any bleeding. CT angiography involves the injection of contrast into the blood stream to view the arteries of the brain.
  • Lumbar puncture is an invasive procedure in which a hollow needle is inserted in the low back to detect blood in the cerebrospinal fluid . The doctor will collect 2 to 4 tubes of CSF. If the CT scan does not show evidence of bleeding but the patient√Ęs symptoms are typical for SAH, a lumbar puncture may be performed.
  • Angiogram is an invasive procedure in which a catheter is inserted into an artery and passed through the blood vessels to the brain. Once the catheter is in place, contrast dye is injected into the bloodstream and X-rays are taken.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging scan is a noninvasive test that uses a magnetic field and radio-frequency waves to give a detailed view of the soft tissues of the brain. An MRA involves the injection of contrast into the bloodstream to examine the blood vessels as well as structures of the brain.

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What Does A Brain Aneurysm Look Like

Brain aneurysms can take several forms. About 90 percent are saccular, or berry, aneurysms. This type forms a sac outside the artery that looks like a berry attached to a vine.

A fusiform aneurysm is a rarer type of aneurysm that affects a longer section of the artery wall, causing the artery to bulge all the way around. Its estimated that

Brain aneurysms can affect anyone. However, some factors can increase your risk.

There are different risk factors for aneurysm development and rupture.

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Symptoms And Causes Of Aneurysms

Causes of Aneurysms:

The precise cause of aneurysms is not yet clear, and a lot more research needs to be done to determine that. However, there are several factors that contribute to the development of an aneurysm. These include:

High Blood Pressure:Hypertension or high BP can weaken the arterial wall over time and cause it to bulge or balloon out.

Atherosclerosis: This is a condition where a deposit called plaque builds up inside the artery walls over time. Plaque is a combination of cholesterol, calcium, fat, and other substances present in your blood. Plaque slowly hardens and narrows the artery. This causes the walls to weaken and results in high BP and aneurysms.

Trauma and Tumours: Physical trauma and injuries, like those caused in a vehicular accident, can damage your arterial walls, resulting in aortic aneurysms. Tumours can also weaken arterial walls by exerting pressure on them and cause the formation of aneurysms.

Heredity: Some kinds of aneurysms are hereditary and run in the family. For example, abdominal aneurysms are hereditary, and research has shown that it occurs in two or more closely-related family members.

Abnormal Blood flow at Arterial Junctions: Arterial junctions or bifurcations are especially vulnerable to aneurysms, as the junctions are exposed to the highest stress from blood flow. They can weaken after a while, resulting in aneurysms.

Symptoms of Aneurysms:
  • Internal bleeding

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