What is an aneurysm, what are its symptoms and why is it dangerous to our life and health? Read our article.
What is aneurysm
An aneurysm is not a disease, but an anomaly within the blood vessel, consisting in highlighting its wall. Aneurysms can appear within any body artery. Some are asymptomatic, others cause unpleasant ailments and are life-threatening.
Aneurysm is not a typical disease entity. This term refers to disorders in the structure of the arterial vessel, consisting in emphasizing its wall. The most common are aortic aneurysm, cerebral aneurysm, commonly known as cerebral aneurysm, carotid, femoral and popliteal artery aneurysms. Aneurysms can vary in size and any symptoms associated with them. Small aneurysms may not have any symptoms. However, if they reach larger sizes and press on neighboring structures, they can cause unpleasant and dangerous ailments. The most dangerous complication of an aneurysm is its rupture. Therefore, timely and proper diagnosis is very important, as it enables the implementation of treatment.
Causes of aneurysms
In fact, regardless of the location of the aneurysm, the causes of its formation are very similar. With cerebral aneurysm, the most common cause is congenital vascular anomaly. For a long time, such aneurysms may have no symptoms and can be detected by accidental imaging performed for a completely different reason. With aortic aneurysms (both abdominal and thoracic), the most common causes are cardiovascular disease. Aneurysms often occur in patients with advanced atherosclerosis and hypertension. The atherosclerotic wall of the vessel loses its elasticity and is more prone to pressure. Hypertension causes an increase in vascular pressure. Because of this, the vessel wall may become excessively prominent. In addition, the causes of aneurysms include inflammatory diseases of the vessels, which also change the structure and elasticity of the muscular layer of the walls of blood vessels, as well as injuries. A specific type is an aneurysm of the heart, which most often develops as a complication after myocardial infarction.
A brain aneurysm may not have any symptoms. Only in some cases a large aneurysm can compress adjacent structures and cause headaches and various neurological problems. Some aneurysms give non-specific symptoms, such as widening one pupil, double vision or drooping eyelids. However, most often patients learn about the existence of an aneurysm at the time of its rupture, that is, subarachnoid bleeding.
When an aneurysm ruptures, a sudden and very severe headache appears, described by patients as the strongest in life. This may also be accompanied by symptoms such as neck stiffness, photophobia, nausea and vomiting. Some patients lose consciousness, paresis or speech disorders. In extreme cases, a rupture of the brain aneurysm leads to coma and even death.