March 1, 2024
Learn about common and subtle symptoms of aneurysm, differences between headache and aneurysm-related headaches, recommended actions for sudden onset of symptoms, as well as at-risk populations and regions of the body affected by aneurysms.

Introduction

Aneurysm is a serious medical condition that occurs when a blood vessel bulges and weakens, potentially causing it to rupture and lead to internal bleeding. It can happen anywhere in the body, but brain aneurysms are the most common and most dangerous. As symptoms may not appear until the aneurysm ruptures, recognizing them early is critical in preventing serious consequences or even death.

10 Common Symptoms of Aneurysm to Look Out For

While some patients may not experience any symptoms, others may suffer from one or more of the following warning signs:

Sudden and severe headache

A severe headache that suddenly strikes out of nowhere is one of the most common symptoms of a brain aneurysm. It may suggest that there is bleeding happening in your brain.

Vision changes

If you find yourself experiencing blurred or double vision or observing sudden vision changes, it could be a sign that there’s an aneurysm affecting the nerves sending visual responses to the brain.

Loss of consciousness

If you suddenly pass out or lose consciousness without any apparent reason, it may suggest that there is bleeding in the brain due to a ruptured aneurysm.

Nausea and vomiting

Feeling nauseous and throwing up may be symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm. However, these symptoms are fairly non-specific and may be caused by a range of other health conditions.

Stiff neck

A sudden onset of a stiff neck is another symptom of a brain aneurysm. However, stiff necks may be caused by other medical conditions too.

Sensitivity to light

If light suddenly starts bothering you out of nowhere, or you develop a headache along with a heightened sensitivity to bright lights, it may suggest that you have an unruptured brain aneurysm.

Seizures

If you have no history of seizures, and you suddenly experience one, then it could indicate that you are experiencing a brain aneurysm. Seizures occur due to abnormally high electrical activity occurring in the brain.

Confusion or difficulty speaking

If you suddenly have difficulty speaking, understanding others, or become confused for no apparent reason, it could suggest an unruptured aneurysm affecting the brain.

Weakness or numbness on one side of the body

Feeling weakness or numbness on one side of your body, like your arms or legs, may suggest a ruptured aneurysm that affects blood flow from reaching your brain and other body parts.

Drooping eyelid or facial droop

If you suddenly develop a drooping eyelid or facial droop that doesn’t go away, it may suggest a brain aneurysm pressing on nerves that control your facial muscle movements.

5 Silent Signs of Developing Aneurysm

Silent aneurysms don’t have any symptoms and are usually diagnosed incidentally through brain scans done for other reasons. However, studies have shown that some patients with undetected aneurysms could display minor signs before the condition worsened. Be on the lookout for these subtle changes:

Fatigue

One of the primary symptoms some patients of an undetected aneurysm report is extreme tiredness and difficulty staying awake, even after full hours of restful sleep.

Dizziness or lightheadedness

Patients may also feel dizzy or lightheaded when standing up or walking around, which could suggest that there’s a problem with the blood flow to the brain.

Trouble concentrating

Experiencing difficulty in concentrating or focusing on a task could be an early symptom of brain aneurysm. It could also be an indicator of other physical or mental diseases, so be sure to consult your doctor.

Mood changes or irritability

Some people may develop unexplainable irritability, impatience, or other significant mood changes that could suggest an aneurysm pushing against specific parts of the brain.

Loss of balance or coordination

An unsteady or wobbly gait or difficulties in maintaining balance or coordination can be early warning signs of a developing aneurysm.

Headache or Aneurysm? Know the Differences

Not all headaches may be symptoms of aneurysm. Here are the differences to look out for:

Differentiating between normal headaches and aneurysm-related headaches

Aneurysm-related headaches tend to come on suddenly, with a severe intensity out of nowhere – something you wouldn’t usually experience with ordinary headaches.

Warning signs to look out for

Persistent headaches along with symptoms like vomiting, nausea, confusion, or fainting may be warning signs of a severe medical condition like aneurysm.

A Simple Guide to Understanding Aneurysm Symptoms

Aneurysms occur when the walls of the blood vessels weaken and bulge out, leading to the formation of an unsightly ‘balloon.’ As the bulge grows more prominent, it can put enormous pressure on the surrounding nerves, brain tissue, and muscles.

If an aneurysm is unruptured, you probably won’t experience any symptoms. When an aneurysm ruptures, often without warning, blood spills into the surrounding area, causing pressure and harm as it flows in different directions. These symptoms can often lead to fatigue, pain, and discomfort for the patient along with visible changes to the brain’s composition.

Sudden Onset of Aneurysm Symptoms: What to Do

If you experience any symptoms of aneurysm, call emergency services right away. Any delay can result in serious, life-altering outcomes.

To minimize your risks, try seeking help from a qualified doctor or neurologist specializing in aneurysms. You may need to undergo diagnostic procedures like computed tomography (CT) scans that use special X-rays to create detailed images of your brain or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tests to confirm the diagnosis.

At-Risk Populations: Signs and Symptoms of Aneurysm You Need to Know

Aneurysms can happen to anyone, but some people are at higher risk than others, including:

  • Older adults above the age of 60
  • People with high blood pressure or cholesterol levels
  • Heavy smokers
  • Those with a genetic predisposition to aneurysm or other brain vessel abnormalities

If you fall under any of these categories, get regular screenings and consult your doctor should you experience any mild to severe symptoms.

Beyond the Brain: Other Parts of the Body Affected by Aneurysm Symptoms

An aneurysm affects different parts of the body and may have more symptoms depending on which region of the body is involved. Here are a few common ones:

Abdomen

A cue ball-sized bulge in the abdomen, combined with chronic pain, may suggest the possibility of an aortic aneurysm.

Circulatory system

Aortic aneurysms affecting the circulatory system can lead to internal bleeding, which can lead to shock, fainting, or death.

Peripheral blood vessels

If you spot a bulging or throbbing vein, pain, or swelling in your arms or legs, you may have a peripheral aneurysm. The blood vessels in these regions may have weakened, meaning they may require treatment to prevent rupture.

Conclusion

Aneurysm is a severe medical condition that can have fatal outcomes if left undiagnosed. Recognizing the warning signs of aneurysm symptoms is critical in seeking early medical attention and reducing the risk of rupture and life-threatening consequences.

It is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including exercising regularly, reducing stress, and eating foods rich in vitamins and nutrients. By making small changes to your daily routine, you can minimize the risk of developing an aneurysm.

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