A brain aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of blood vessel in the brain. It is also referred to as cerebral aneurysm. Aneurysms usually occur in the weakened area of the vessels especially at the points where it branch. When blood passes through the weakened area of the vessels, that part tends to bulge out due to increased blood pressure.
Most often the brain aneurysms may not rupture and goes unnoticed without any symptoms and don’t create any serious problems. Rupturing occurs very rarely. Rupturing can cause release of blood to the brain and thereby leads to an extremely severe condition known as subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Condition of rupturing is very serious and is a medical emergency.
Most brain aneurysms show no symptoms and can only be identified during tests for another, usually unrelated, condition. If you notice any symptoms given below, remember not to ignore these and to get medical aid if necessary.
- Loss of vision or double vision
- Severe headache
- Pain around your eyes or on the sides of face.
Symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm usually start with a severe headache. The most probable symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include:
- An unexpected, extremely severe headache, feels like something not experienced before.
- Blurred or double vision
- Sensitivity to light.
- Stiff neck
- Enlarged pupils.
- Loss of consciousness
Seek immediate treatment when you notice any of these symptoms.
Brain aneurysms develop as a result of weakening of walls of blood vessels in the brain. Mostly appears at the area where vessels join or branch.
The risk factors include:
- Older age
- Use of cigarettes.
- Family history
- Head injury
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Abuse of cocaine
If your doctor suspects that you have a brain aneurysm, then you have to undergo the following tests.
- Computerized Tomography Scan: This test is used to determine if you have bleeding in the brain in case of aneurysm has ruptured.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the brain.
- CT Angiography: This is a non-invasive test to see blood vessels in the brain.
- Cerebral Angiogram: In this test, a catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in the groin and thereby to reach the blood vessels in the brain. A clear picture will be produced with the help of a contrasting dye.
TREATMENTS AND DRUGS
Your doctor will consider various factors before fixing your treatment. These factors may include your age, size, exact location and shape of aneurysm, risk factors and your overall health.
There are two treatment options in case of ruptured brain aneurysms.
- Endovascular Coiling
This is less invasive surgical procedure and safer. An incision in the skull is not required here. This procedure is done to block blood flow into weakened area in the wall of an artery.
During this procedure, a catheter is passed through the groin up into the artery containing the aneurysm. There places that platinum coil using electric current permanently. The coils help the clotting of the aneurysm and, in this way, prevent blood flow to it. Sometimes, a special kind of x-ray, called fluoroscopy is helpful for doctors to guide this coil to the exact location of aneurysm.
- Surgical Clipping- This possesses a little more risk than the coiling technique. This is the procedure done to close off an aneurysm. Here your neurosurgeon needs to make a cut to open your skull to access the aneurysm. After locating the target blood vessel, he will place a small metal clip on its neck or opening to prevent further blood flow to this aneurysm.
PREVENTION AND HOME REMEDIES
Brain aneurysms are not preventable always. But following certain lifestyle changes can lower its risk of rupturing.
- Stop smoking
To control your blood pressure,
- Follow a healthy diet
- maintaining a healthy weight
- exercising regularly
- Limit caffeine
- Avoid straining.