Our brain is filled with tons of nerves and blood vessels. All these blood vessels are responsible for feeding the brain with oxygen and nutrients.
A brain aneurysm happens when there’s a blood clot anywhere in the brain. This clot can clog the blood vessels and halt the flow of blood.
When this happens, certain parts of the brain will stop functioning and risk permanent damage.
Is there a way to prevent a brain aneurysm? What should you look out for?
Check out these 4 signs of brain aneurysm you should know about.
1: Sudden, severe headache
Headaches may often signal something serious—here are 16 signs your head pain is much worse than a headache. In an aneurysm, it can be really bad: “It’s often described as the worst headache of your life,” says Mark McLaughlin, MD, FACS, who practices neurological surgery at Princeton Brain and Spine.
What’s happening? “The leakage of blood is irritating to the brain coverings, causing the pain.” It’s unlike regular headaches in that the pain comes on so abruptly, and it’s severe and intense.
2: Onset of double vision or droopy eyelid
“This can be caused by an enlarging aneurysm that is pushing on the nerve that moves your eye,” says Dr. McLaughlin.
If you suddenly have eye problems—double vision, your eyelids start to droop—you should call 911 immediately. “This is not a ‘wait and see what happens’ situation,” says Dr. McLaughlin. Don’t miss these three breakthroughs for better eyesight.
3: Weakness or numbness on one side of the body or face
Another sign is when half your face or only one side of your body starts to go numb. “This comes from tiny clots leaking out of the aneurysm that are clogging small vessels going to important areas of the brain,” says Dr. McLaughlin.
He explains that an aneurysm is like a blister with a thin wall that can pop and leak blood, wreaking havoc along the way.
4: Gastrointestinal issues
“When you have a brain aneurysm, nausea or vomiting can take place,” says Ronald Benitez, MD, chief of endovascular neurosurgery, Atlantic Health System at Overlook Medical Center, Summit, New Jersey. “The bleeding and headache causes this.” So the headache starts first and then you may experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Dr. Benitez says other common symptoms include: bleeding, dizziness, light sensitivity, and stiff neck. “These are all related to the bleeding or in some cases pressure in the head or the aneurysm pressing on related structures,” he explains.
For a list of risk factors and more information, check out https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/signs-of-a-brain-aneurysm/
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