September 2019: Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month
September is National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month, where organizations, specialists and affected parties work together to raise awareness of signs, symptoms and risk factors of cerebral aneurysms. Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month began in 2007 thanks to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, and has become a nationally-recognized event. Leading into this month, here are a few facts to keep in mind about the causes, treatment and symptoms of brain aneurysms.
5 important facts about brain aneurysms
Brain aneurysms have been mystified due to a myriad of misinformation. So, looking into Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month, what’s important to know?
Fact #1: Brain aneurysms are not harmful by themselves.
There’s a difference between a brain aneurysm and a ruptured brain aneurysm; the latter is the dangerous part. An aneurysm is the abnormal expansion in the wall of a blood vessel. This expansion causes the vessel’s wall to become very thin and stretched. The danger is that the wall will break, causing internal cranial bleeding — also known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Fact #2: There are ways to detect a brain aneurysm before it ruptures.
Brain aneurysms are more likely to occur if certain criteria are met. For example, women are more likely to experience an aneurysm, along with tobacco and drug users. That being said, brain aneurysms can affect anyone — if you’re not sure who should get screened for brain aneurysms, contacting a neurosurgical expert (like those at Neurosurgery and Endovascular Associates) for a recommendation may help alleviate your concerns.
Fact #3: Brain aneurysms are treatable.
Despite popular belief, brain aneurysms are not untreatable. Depending on the situation, they might not even be a medical emergency. After a brain aneurysm is discovered, Dr. Ahuja will discuss the best course of action for your situation — whether that be simply monitoring the aneurysm, or opting for brain aneurysm surgery.
Fact #4: You can reduce your risk of a brain aneurysm.
Blood pressure plays a large role in the likelihood of a brain aneurysm. As such, those with chronic hypertension (high blood pressure) are more likely to experience one. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure can reduce the risk of experiencing an aneurysm or rupture, alongside avoiding tobacco and drug use.
Fact #5: Brain aneurysms can cause symptoms even before they rupture.
A ruptured brain aneurysm can cause a multitude of symptoms: dizziness, loss of concentration, neck pain and headaches, to name a few. But unruptured brain aneurysms can sometimes be detected by abnormal pupil dilation, double vision or a headache behind one eye. While these symptoms are usually harmless, if you notice them, make an appointment with your doctor.