Six Frightening Signs That Your Headache Is Actually Deadly Aneurysm
Everyone gets headaches from time to time. Usually, their cause is fatigue, insufficient water intake, stress. Although every a headache is an inconvenience, most passes after taking analgesics, a little more water or short naps. If you have ever had a migraine, you know how much it can be challenging – everything else becomes less important and everything you can focus on is the pain you feel. But what is this pain not caused by migraines? What, like what looks like a migraine, is actually something much more serious? There is a chance that your migraine is actually a brain aneurysm – a condition that can lead to a stroke. Between 1.5% and 5% of the population had or would have a brain aneurysm in some lifetime. Let’s learn more about it.
What is a brain aneurysm?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “a brain aneurysm is bulging or a blood vessel inflated like a balloon in the brain. It often looks like a berry hanging on a stem.” If an aneurysm bursts, there is blood spilling, known as a hemorrhagic stroke. Rupture of an aneurysm is a life-threatening condition and requires urgent treatment. Many brain aneurysms are detected before rupture while examining other medical conditions.
What causes a brain aneurysm?
A brain aneurysm develops as a result of weakened arterial walls. Usually, aneurysms develop at places where the arteries are fractured because the parts of the blood vessels are weaker. Aneurysms can occur anywhere in the brain, but most commonly occur in brain arteries. Sometimes aneurysms occur and crumbling due to head injuries.
Symptoms of brain aneurysms
Brain aneurysms give many different symptoms. If there was no rupture, the symptoms that you notice are lowered eyelid, weakness or numbness on one side face, dilated pupils, pain near the eye, changes in vision.
Rupture of an aneurysm – when it becomes life threatening – can have any of the following symptoms:
- Sudden, severe headache
If an aneurysm begins to leak or bleed, you may feel a sudden and powerful headache that lasts for hours or days. Headaches appear suddenly, and migraine medicines will not relieve pain.
- Problems with vision
Another of the symptoms of an aneurysm are visual problems. A person with aneurysm rupture will have symptoms such as blurred vision or will see duplicate images, lowered eyelids, sensitivity to light.
- Nausea and vomiting
As with other head injuries, the usual symptom of the cerebral aneurysm is nausea and/or vomiting. If you have nausea or vomiting, especially if they are followed by a terrible headache, contact an emergency doctor.
- Pain in the neck
Because an aneurysm often occurs in the brain base, it causes serious pain in the neck – similar to the stiffness of the neck.
- Loss of consciousness
Due to blood flow to the brain due to rupture of an aneurysm, a person loses consciousness or experiences a condition similar to an epi attack. If this happens to anyone in your area, immediately call an ambulance.
- Drowsiness, confusion or coma
Sleepiness and confusion are common symptoms of brain aneurysm rupture. In serious cases, people with a brain aneurysm can end up in a coma.
Differences between a migraine and aneurysm
Now you probably think: “Most of these symptoms are similar to the symptoms of a migraine. What’s the difference?”
Usually, migraine does not start so strongly and suddenly – you have a feeling of numbness or pulsation. A migraine is usually concentrated on one side of the head, while a pain in an aneurysm involves the entire head. One of the biggest differences between a migraine and cerebral aneurysms is that a migraine usually has a breakthrough – a day or two before the onset, you have symptoms such as frequent lingering, eating for food, mood swings, constipation, increased thirst and frequent urination.
If you have ever had a sudden, severe headache or any other of the symptoms of a cerebral aneurysm, be sure to seek medical attention.