According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, a brain aneurysm ruptures every 18 minutes in the United States, and ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 40% of cases.
It is extremely important to know risk factors for and signs of a brain aneurysm so that you can seek help at the nearest emergency room if you or your loved ones show symptoms of a brain aneurysm.
Risk factors for brain aneurysms
Patients often want to know, "What causes a brain aneurysm?" The exact cause of aneurysms is unknown and there are numerous factors that may cause an aneurysm. However, it is known that family and personal history, gender, high blood pressure and smoking are key risk factors that may raise aneurysm risk.
1. Family and personal history
If a person has a family history of brain aneurysms, they are more likely to develop one. Furthermore, people who have had a brain aneurysm in the past are more likely to have subsequent aneurysms.
Women are more likely than men to suffer from a brain aneurysm or to suffer a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Women suffer from brain aneurysms at a 3:2 ratio as compared to men.
3. High Blood Pressure
People with high blood pressure have a higher risk for a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Apart from the fact that cigarette smoking causes high blood pressure, it increases the likelihood of a brain aneurysm bursting.
Visit the ER if you notice these symptoms
Patients often want to know, "What does an aneurysm feel like?" The truth is that most brain aneurysms cause no symptoms.
However, individuals with large brain aneurysms that have not yet burst may experience severe localized headaches, blurred vision, speech and neck pain depending on the size and location of the aneurysms.
The following symptoms of an aneurysm often occur quickly and people with these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately:
- Sudden severe headache that is different from previous headaches
- Loss of consciousness
- Stiff neck
- Suddenly blurred or double vision
- Sudden pain above or behind the eye
- Difficulty seeing
- Sudden change of mental status or consciousness
- Sudden trouble walking or dizziness
- Drooping eyelid
Every moment matters with ruptured brain aneurysms. Therefore, it is important to seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 or visiting your closest emergency room if you or a loved one exhibits symptoms of a brain aneurysm.
Brain Aneurysm Foundation | Warning Signs/ Symptoms
WebMD | What Is a Brain Aneurys