Have you ever felt warm sensations followed by a popping sound in your head? If so, it could be a sign of a brain aneurysm, and you should pay attention to signs such as a bad headache, stiff neck, vision issues, facial drooping, nausea or vomiting, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
Aneurysms can be unruptured, leaking, or fully ruptured. Leaking aneurysms lead to blood spilling into the brain. Unruptured ones don’t show symptoms and are usually found accidentally during tests for other health issues.
Treatment options include surgery and using a flow diverter. It’s crucial to reduce your risk by making lifestyle changes.
If you ever experience a popping sound in your head followed by warmth, don’t ignore it. Seek medical help right away because early detection and treatment can save lives.
Types of brain aneurysms
Brain aneurysms often sneak up without any warning signs or symptoms. You or someone around you might have one and not even know it. Below are types of Aneurysms and what to watch for.
There are different kinds of brain aneurysms, each with its own set of signs:
1. Unruptured Aneurysms
These are small and usually don’t show any signs. Sometimes, though, you might experience:
- A headache, different from your usual tension headache.
- Weakness or numbness on one side of your face
- Double or blurry vision.
- A larger pupil.
- A sudden and severe headache, often called a “thunderclap headache
If these symptoms happen along with the popping and warm feeling in your head, get to a doctor right away.
2. Leaking Aneurysms
When you feel that warmth in your head, it might be because a bit of blood is leaking into your brain. This can lead to a severe headache known as a “sentinel headache.” It’s a warning sign that a full-blown brain aneurysm might be just days or weeks away. Seek medical help urgently.
This is the worst scenario. A full rupture comes with several symptoms:
- A sentinel headache
- Stiff or painful neck
- Blurry or double vision
- Being extra sensitive to light
- A droopy eyelid
- Trouble speaking or changes in awareness
- Problems walking or dizziness
- Feeling nauseous or vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
When these symptoms show up, it’s an emergency. Immediate medical care is needed to prevent a stroke, brain damage, or even death.
Common Causes of Brain Aneurysms
Brain aneurysms can form for several reasons, but the process is straightforward. They occur when the walls of brain arteries weaken and become thinner, leading to deformities. Sometimes, inflammation or injury can trigger these deformities, even without thinning the artery walls.
Common Causes of Brain Aneurysms include:
Several factors can lead to brain aneurysms, often a combination of these listed below.
- Branching Arteries: Aneurysms can develop where arteries branch off and become thinner.
- Blood Flow Stress: Artery walls can weaken due to stress from blood flow.
- Elastic Tissue Breakdown: When the elastic tissue in an artery breaks down.
- Artery Tissue Changes: Inflammation can alter artery tissue.
Other Contributing Factors
Several factors increase the risk of brain aneurysms:
- High blood pressure
- Being over 40 years old
- Alcohol or drug misuse
- Higher occurrence in women
- Family history of aneurysms
- Head injuries
- Genetic conditions
- Birth defects
You might be curious about what can trigger a brain aneurysm. Indeed, certain factors can play a role. Some medical conditions and habits can raise the risk, but even everyday activities can be factors, such as:
- Very intense workouts may play a role
- High caffeine intake from many drinks might be a factor
- Putting too much effort during bowel movements can increase the risk
- Forceful nose blowing might have an impact
- Experiencing intense anger could potentially be a trigger
- Even sudden fright or being startled might contribute
Diagnosis and treatment
Aneurysms don’t show symptoms until they rupture, requiring immediate hospitalization. Detecting aneurysms is tough, but sometimes they’re found during unrelated medical tests.
Diagnostic tools includes:
- MRI Scan: Finds unruptured aneurysms and details like size and location.
- CT Scan: Detects brain bleeding from a leaking aneurysm.
Treatment depends on aneurysm specifics, patient’s age, health, and more.
- Surgery Treatment Option
Surgery repairs or blocks blood flow to prevent growth or rupture.
- Flow Diverters Treatment Option
Flow diverters are used when an aneurysm is large or can’t be treated with surgery. They redirect blood flow away from the aneurysm.
Preventing an aneurysm
Aneurysms can happen without warning, but you can lower your risk by making some simple changes in your life. Including:
- Manage Blood Pressure
- Quit Smoking and Drinking
- Maintain Healthy Diet
- Regular Exercise
- Maintain Healthy Weight
- Limit Caffeine consumption
- Avoid Drug Use
While you can’t always predict serious health issues, these lifestyle changes can make a big difference. The Brain Aneurysm Foundation reported that about 6.5 million Americans have unruptured brain aneurysms. Though the chances are small, it’s important to be prepared. If it happens, quick medical care is important.
There are treatments for aneurysms, but recovery takes time. It may involve therapy depending on how severe it is. Lifestyle changes can help lower the risk of aneurysms. If you ever face one, early medical attention is vital for a better outcome.