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A brain aneurysm, also known as a cerebral aneurysm, occurs when a blood vessel in the brain begins to swell and creates a bulge in the blood vessel. Brain aneurysms usually go unnoticed because there are very few symptoms that would bring it to one’s attention. Some of the symptoms include headaches, neck pain, and blurred vision. In some cases the aneurysm will begin to leak or rupture. When the aneurysm ruptures it releases blood into skull. When the blood is released into the skull it can result in a stroke or death. The reason it can result in death or stroke is because as the blood fills the brain it creates pressure and can cut off the oxygen supply to brain cells. A few of the symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm are a sudden headache that causes severe pain, sensitivity to light, loss of consciousness, and seizures. If a person is experiencing these symptoms it is important to obtain medical attention immediately because it can quickly become dangerous or even life threatening.
Brain aneurysms are most often found in the arteries that are located at the base of the brain. They usually form where the arteries branch off in different directions because these are the areas where the artery is the weakest. A brain aneurysm develops when the walls of an artery begin to become thinner and weaker. Some of the things that can increase the rate of weakening arteries are smoking, high blood pressure, head injury, and aging. This is why brain aneurysms usually occur in adults between the ages of 35 and 60. Aneurysms are also more likely to occur in women than they are in men. Women experience aneurysms three times as often as men do. Once a person has experienced an aneurysm it increases their chances of having another one in the future.
A brain aneurysm has two treatment options available. The two options are surgical clipping and endovascular coiling. The first option, surgical clipping, is performed to close off the blood flow to the aneurysm. To perform this treatment a neurosurgeon will have to remove part of the skull to gain access to the location of the artery in which the aneurysm is located. Once they locate the aneurysm they place a small metal clip on it to prevent blood flow from reaching it. The second option available is endovascular coiling. In this treatment a surgeon will insert a thin hollow tube into an artery and thread the tube through your body. Once they reach the aneurysm they insert a thin wire through the tube. When the wire reaches the aneurysm it coils up inside and blocks the blood flow to form a blood clot that seals the aneurysm and prevents it from affecting the artery. A neurosurgeon will help you decide which treatment option is best for your situation.
There are several options to reduce your risk of developing an aneurysm or having one rupture. One way is to resist smoking because it increases blood pressure. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help decrease blood pressure which will reduce the pressure being put on the arteries in which the aneurysm is located. You should also limit your caffeine intake because it will cause a spike in blood pressure. It is necessary to avoid straining because when you strain your muscles it causes you blood pressure to increase suddenly. It is important to make these lifestyle changes to prevent aneurysms and to reduce the risk of having one rupture.