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Symptoms and Treatment of Brain Aneurysm

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
February 25th, 2022
9 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Headache, nausea, and vomiting are some brain aneurysm symptoms
  • A ruptured brain aneurysm is a life-threatening medical emergency
  • The brain aneurysm treatment includes surgery and lifestyle changes

A brain aneurysm or cerebral aneurysm is a blister-like bulge or ballooning in the blood vessel of the brain. In severe cases, it can cause a rupture or leak, which may lead to a hemorrhagic stroke or bleeding in the brain. A brain aneurysm is a weak spot in the walls of a blood vessel in the brain. When the weak area gets worn out due to blood flow, it bulges out. There are different types of brain aneurysms such as saccular and fusiform aneurysms.

In India, up to 2 lakh+ cases of brain aneurysm are reported every year [1]. While an unruptured aneurysm may not cause any problems, a ruptured brain aneurysm can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical support. Read on to learn about its symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Additional Read: Stroke in Brain

Brain aneurysm symptoms

A person with a ruptured brain aneurysm may have the following symptoms:

  • Severe headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizure
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion 
  • Mental weakness
  • Stiffness in neck
  • Light sensitivity
  • Speaking difficulties
  • Heart attack
  • Weakness or numbness in arms or legs

Brain aneurysm symptoms

A person with an intact or unruptured brain aneurysm shows the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Seizures
  • Pain in neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dilated or enlarged pupils
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Change in vision
  • Pain near the eyes
  • Pain above and behind the eye
  • Numbness or weakness in one side of the face

Brain aneurysm causes

Although the exact brain aneurysm causes are unknown, there are certain risk factors that may contribute.

  • Old age
  • Infection
  • Plaque buildup in arteries 
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Birth abnormalities
  • Head injury or trauma
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Head and neck cancers or tumors
  • Family history or genetic disorders
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Drug abuse – cocaine or amphetamines
  • Connective tissue disorders and polycystic kidney disease [2, 3]

Brain aneurysm Complications

Brain aneurysm treatment

Brain aneurysm treatment involves the following.

Surgical clipping

In surgical clipping, a surgeon cuts or removes a small part of your skull to access or locate the aneurysm. Then, a small metal chip is attached to the base to pinch off the aneurysm or stop the blood flow. Later, the skull is sealed. This surgery is done in cases of both ruptured and unruptured brain aneurysm

Endovascular coiling

For this procedure, surgery is not required to open the skull. The surgeon places a catheter into your wrist or groin to the affected blood vessel that has the aneurysm. Small platinum coils are then placed in the aneurysm. This treatment is considered safer than surgical clipping. 

Flow diverter surgery

Doctors choose this treatment is chosen when neither surgical clipping nor endovascular coiling are possible. This surgery is done to treat larger brain aneurysms. For this procedure, a metal-made stent is inserted inside the affected artery of your brain. This is done to divert the blood flow from the aneurysm. 

Apart from these surgical treatments, you can control or reduce the risk of popping brain aneurysms that are small or unruptured through lifestyle changes. Such brain aneurysms may not need treatment at all. Consult with your doctor to know which modifications you need to do. Here are some changes your doctor may advise:

  • Quit smoking
  • Stay away from drugs
  • Exercise and control your diet
  • Take steps to reduce high blood pressure such as limiting caffeine or avoiding lifting heavy materials

How to take care of mental health?

Studies show that those with a brain aneurysm suffer from depression, poor mental health, and anxiety [5]. Such a diagnosis can also be stressful and disheartening. To ensure your mental well-being, you can follow these tips.

Exercise and stay active

Exercises such as swimming, cycling, walking, and gardening reduce anxiety, negative mood, and depression [4].

Eat a balanced diet

Food also plays a big role in maintaining your mental health. An ideal diet includes fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, seeds, oily fish, dairy products, and lots of water.

Seek help

Taking care of your health should be your priority. Talking about or sharing your problems with your loved ones can help. You can also learn how to take care of mental health from therapists or psychologists. These mental health experts can teach you mindfulness techniques to manage anxiety and depression. 

Additional Read:  Types of Mental Illnesses

To address any symptoms of brain aneurysm or to take care of your mental wellness, book an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. Booking doctor appointment is easy with a range of experts online! This way, you can lead a healthy and active life.

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