A aneurysm occurs when a blood vessel in an artery bulges or swells due to an injury or a weakened vessel wall. Aneurysms can occur anywhere, but they most commonly occur in the aorta (the major artery from the heart) and the brain.The size of an aneurysm may vary, depending upon the different contributing factors, such as trauma, medical, genetic, or congenital conditions. As the aneurysm gets bigger, there is a higher chance for it to burst and cause severe hemorrhage. Most aneurysms cause no symptoms and have a high death rate (between 65%-80%), so it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately.
Detecting a Cerebral Aneurysm
1. Don't overlook a sudden and severe headache. If an artery bursts in your brain due to an aneurysm, it will cause a severe headache that comes on suddenly. This headache is the key symptom of a ruptured brain aneurysm.
2. Note any disturbances to your vision. Double vision, reduced vision, blurred vision, or blindness are all indicators of a cerebral aneurysm. Vision disturbances occur because of pressure on the arterial wall near the eyes that cuts off blood flow to eyes.
3. Check for dilated pupils in the mirror. Dilated pupils are a common sign of cerebral aneurysm, due to the blockage of an artery near the eyes. Usually, one of your pupils will be significantly more dilated than the other.
4. Pay attention to eye pain. Your eyes may throb or feel intense pain during an aneurysm.
5. Notice if your neck is stiff. A stiff neck can occur to due to an aneurysm if a nerve in the neck is affected by the ruptured artery.
6. Assess if half of your body feels weak. Half-sided body weakness is a common sign of aneurysm, depending on which part of the brain is affected.
7. Seek medical attention immediately. Ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in around 40% of people, and about 66% of survivors suffer some type of brain damage.
Detecting an Aortic Aneurysm
1. Be aware that aortic aneurysms can be either abdominal aortic aneurysms or thoracic aortic aneurysms.
2. Take note of severe abdominal or back pain.
3. Note nausea and vomiting. If you experience nausea and vomiting along with severe abdominal or back pain, you may be experiencing a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.
4. Check if you are dizzy. Dizziness is caused by massive blood loss that often accompanies a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.
5. Check your heart rate. A suddenly increased heart rate is a reaction to the internal blood loss and anemia caused by a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.
6. Feel your skin to see if it's clammy. Clammy skin can be a tell-tale symptom of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
7. Keep an eye on any sudden chest pain and high-pitched breath.
8. Swallow and see if it seems difficult. Difficulty swallowing can indicate the occurrence of a thoracic aortic aneurysm.
9. Speak and listen for any hoarseness in your voice.