These Symptoms May Indicate a Possible Cerebral Aneurysm

Cerebral aneurysms are more common than you might think. Approximately one in 50 people in the United States has an unruptured cerebral aneurysm.

A cerebral aneurysm — or a brain aneurysm — is a bulge in one of the blood vessels in your brain. If left untreated, the damaged blood vessel walls can continue to weaken and your aneurysm can grow larger or burst. If a cerebral aneurysm ruptures or leaks, it causes a hemorrhagic stroke, or bleeding in the brain. This very serious condition can be life-threatening.

The most common ruptured cerebral aneurysms happen between your brain and the thin layer of tissue covering it. They are known as subarachnoid hemorrhages. This type of bleeding can lead to irreversible brain damage or worse. Nearly 500,000 people die each year from brain aneurysms.

In most cases, an unruptured cerebral aneurysm doesn’t cause any obvious symptoms or health concerns. David Newell, MD, is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. He works closely with men and women in the Seattle area to understand the symptoms of brain aneurysms in order to diagnose and treat this potentially dangerous condition.

Recognizing the symptoms of a cerebral aneurysm

Cerebral aneurysms are most common in people between 40 and 60 years old, but they can affect anyone, even children. Most people with an unruptured cerebral aneurysm have no symptoms or only a few that are very mild. Most unruptured cerebral aneurysms are discovered during medical testing for another condition.

If you have a larger unruptured aneurysm, it can put pressure on surrounding nerves or brain tissue. This added pressure may lead to a variety of symptoms, including:

When an aneurysm begins to leak small amounts of blood into your brain, this can cause a sudden and extremely severe headache. You’re also at increased risk of your aneurysm bursting.

Signs that a cerebral aneurysm has burst

One of the most common signs of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm is feeling as though you have the worst headache you’ve ever experienced in your entire life. Additional symptoms often include:

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Understanding your risks

Anyone can develop a cerebral aneurysm, but certain factors can increase your risks. Brain aneurysms are more common in adults than in children and occur more often in women than men. You also have higher chances of developing a brain aneurysm if you:

Head injuries and specific blood infections can also lead to cerebral aneurysms.

Treating a cerebral aneurysm

Based on your symptoms, Dr. Newell usually diagnoses cerebral aneurysms using digital imaging tests, like specialized CT and MRI scans. If there’s evidence that you have a leaking aneurysm in your brain, he might recommend a lumbar puncture to check for signs of blood in your spinal fluid.

Depending on your cerebral aneurysm, Dr. Newell could recommend a variety of treatments, including:

As a leading neurosurgeon and cerebral vascular specialist, Dr. Newell has operated on over 1,500 cerebral aneurysms.

If you have symptoms of a cerebral aneurysm, don’t ignore them. Call David Newell, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.

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