Doctors do not always know the exact cause of a ruptured brain aneurysm. However, several risk factors, including high blood pressure, increase the risk of it bursting.
A brain aneurysm occurs when a weak point on an artery in the brain swells. The swelling can cause pressure on the brain and nerves that can lead to symptoms such as numbness and weakness.
In some cases, a brain aneurysm can rupture, causing a severe headache and often other symptoms. It can lead to several severe complications, including death.
In this article, we will review what ruptured brain aneurysms are and explore possible risk factors, symptoms, and more.
A brain or cerebral aneurysm describes a weak spot on an artery in the brain that
Typically, smaller brain aneurysms
Brain aneurysms occur when part of the artery weakens or thins. Often, this occurs at branch points in the arteries where they are naturally weaker.
Aneurysms may be present since birth but typically develop in people with certain risk factors,
- being female
- being between the ages of 30–60 years
- being born with certain conditions, such as genetic connective tissue disorders or polycystic kidney disease
- drug misuse
- untreated high blood pressure
- smoking cigarettes
- high blood pressure
- stress, which may suddenly increase blood pressure
- lifting a heavy object
- size, shape, and location, with smaller, uniformly shaped aneurysms being the least likely to rupture
- family history of aneurysms and ruptures
- personal history of aneurysms
- growth of the aneurysm
When a brain aneurysm bursts, it
- sensitivity to light
- double vision
- stiff neck
- cardiac arrest
- loss of consciousness
Many people with smaller aneurysms go without a diagnosis because they do not have any symptoms. However, if these aneurysms rupture, they typically cause sudden and extreme headaches. Sometimes, a severe and sudden headache may prompt a doctor to order tests to detect a ruptured brain aneurysm.
A person with a known brain aneurysm can take steps to help reduce the risk of it bursting. These include:
- stopping smoking, if applicable
- carefully controlling blood pressure
- avoiding the use of recreational drugs
A burst brain aneurysm can lead to several potentially serious complications, including subarachnoid hemorrhage, when blood leaks into the space between two of the membranes surrounding the brain, or death. Complications can cause additional symptoms and issues that may need treatment as well.
If the aneurysm has ruptured, a doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- antiseizure drugs
- placement of a shunt
- calcium channel-blocking drugs
- rehabilitative therapy
Recovery times will vary according to the possible complications a person experiences. A person should work with a doctor or other specialists to determine their individual prognosis following a brain aneurysm rupture.
A common early sign of a ruptured brain aneurysm is an intense, sudden headache. A person should seek medical attention as soon as possible if this occurs, as it may indicate a burst aneurysm. It is also highly advisable to consult a doctor if individuals experience other symptoms such as vision changes and seizures.
A brain aneurysm occurs when an artery fills with blood and bulges. In some cases, it can rupture, leading to bleeding in the brain, stroke, and other possible complications.
While preventing an aneurysm rupture may not always be possible, a person can take steps, such as reducing their blood pressure and stopping smoking, to help reduce the risk. If someone develops a sudden, painful headache, they need to seek medical help.
Treatments can vary according to the complications that develop due to the rupture. If bleeding occurs, a doctor may suggest medications, a shunt, and rehabilitative therapy.