A brain aneurysm is a weak bulging spot on the wall of a brain artery, very much like a thin balloon or weak spot on an inner tube. Aneurysms form silently from wear and tear on the arteries and sometimes can form from injury, infection, or inherited tendency.
Brain aneurysms are a silent killer because most show no symptoms over time. It is estimated that up to 1 in 20 people in the U.S. will develop a brain aneurysm during their lifetime. Due to the lack of awareness and research funding, the situation today is grim. Each year at least 40,000 people will suffer a ruptured brain aneurysm. Almost half of the victims will die and of those surviving, only a third will recover without disabilities. Brain aneurysms are most prevalent in people ages 35 – 60, but can occur in children as well, often resulting in death. Women, more than men, suffer from brain aneurysms at a ratio of 3:2.
If you have been diagnosed with an unruptured brain aneurysm the odds are already in your favor. Treatment options are available and if needed, they can save your life. Every case is different and every person's brain structure is different. Your doctor will determine the best course of action for your particular set of issues. The size, location, and your overall health are taken into consideration. The medical advancements over the years are contributing significantly to higher survival rates of unruptured brain aneurysm.
Ruptured brain aneurysms require more sensitivity due to life and death risk factors and your medical experts will decide which options are the best for your specific situation. Some ruptures may require long hospital stays and open surgery, where as other ruptures won't require lengthy hospital stays and less invasive procedures.
Although people with unruptured brain aneurysms may have headaches, this is often not associated with the actual aneurysm. Most people with unruptured brain aneurysms are completely asymptomatic have no symptoms, while others may experience some or all of the following symptoms, which suggest an aneurysm:
People who suffer a ruptured brain aneurysms (subarachnoid hemorrhage) will often have warning signs. The following warning signs precede about 40% of major ruptures:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately!
Remember, you are not alone. Thousands of people are diagnosed with brain aneurysm every year. Many people go through the same things you are going through. Seek support and get as much education as you can.