According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, a brain aneurysm ruptures every 18 minutes in the United States. Ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 40% of cases; therefore, it is extremely important to understand the risk factors and symptoms.
Risk Factors for Brain Aneurysms
1. Family and Personal History
If an individual has a family history of brain aneurysms, they have an increased likelihood of developing one. Additionally, individuals who have had a brain aneurysm in the past are more likely to have subsequent aneurysms.
Women are more likely than men to develop a brain aneurysm or to suffer a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Women suffer from brain aneurysms at a ratio of 3:2 when compared to men.
3. High Blood Pressure
Individuals who have a history of high blood pressure are at a higher risk for a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
In addition to being a cause of high blood pressure, cigarette smoking may greatly increase the chances of a brain aneurysm rupturing.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
While most brain aneurysms cause no symptoms, individuals with large brain aneurysms that have not yet ruptured may experience severe localized headaches, blurred vision, changes in speech and neck pain, depending on the size and location of the aneurysm.
The following symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm often come on quickly and individuals experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately:
- Sudden severe headache that is different from previous headaches
- Loss of consciousness
- Stiff neck
- Sudden blurred or double vision
- Sudden pain above or behind the eye or difficulty seeing
- Sudden change in mental status or awareness
- Sudden trouble walking or dizziness
- Drooping eyelid
With ruptured brain aneurysms, every moment matters, which is why it is important to seek immediate medical attention by calling 9-1-1 or visiting your closest emergency room if you or loved one exhibits symptoms of a brain aneurysm.