A brain aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel in the brain. A brain aneurysm can leak or rupture and causes bleeding into the brain. Often a ruptured brain aneurysm occurs in the space between the brain and the thin tissues covering the brain. A ruptured aneurysm is life-threatening and requires immediate medical treatment. Most brain aneurysms don’t rupture and create health problems or cause other symptoms. Treatment for an unruptured brain aneurysm may be appropriate in some cases and may have the benefit that it can prevent a rupture in the future.
A sudden and severe headache that is often described as the “worst headache” ever experienced.
Signs and symptoms
- Sudden and severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stiff neck
- Blurred or double vision
- Sensitivity to light
- A drooping eyelid
- Loss of consciousness
- Difficulty to talk
A sudden severe headache and the risk of a more severe rupture that often follows leaking.
An unruptured brain aneurysm may produce no symptoms especially if it is small. A larger unruptured aneurysm can press on brain tissues and nerves, possibly causing:
- Pain above and behind one eye
- A dilated pupil
- Change in vision or double vision
- Numbness of one side of the face
- Computerized tomography (CT scan)
- Cerebrospinal fluid test
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Cerebral angiogram
Prevention of Aneurysm
- Quit smoking
- Manage blood pressure
- Healthy diet –cutting down on salt and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Moderate alcohol intake – men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
- Healthy weight – losing a few kilograms will make a big difference to your blood pressure and overall health
- Exercising regularly – regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition
- Reduce caffeine intake – caffeine can increase blood pressure temporarily and it is important to drink water
When a patient presents with symptoms as mentioned above, take the patient to the emergency unit of the nearest hospital.