Morning Mix


Brain Aneurysms: What you need to know

Posted at 11:01 AM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 11:02:03-04

About one in 50 people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm, but how do you know if you have one?

Dr. Paul Mazaris, a neurosurgeon from Spectrum Health, says brain aneurysms are caused by a swelling in a blood vessel in the brain.

A brain aneurysm  can rupture, causing bleeding into the brain, and can quickly become life-threatening. Most brain aneurysms don't rupture, but if they do, they require quick medical treatment.

Symptoms to look out for if you have an unruptured brain aneurysm are:

  • Localized Headache
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Pain above and behind eye
  • Weakness and numbness
  • Difficulty speaking

Dr. Mazaris says there are multiple signs to watch out for a ruptured aneurysm:

  • Sudden severe headache, the worst headache of your life
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Stiff Neck
  • Sudden blurred or double vision
  • Sudden pain above/behind the eye or difficulty seeing
  • Sudden change in mental status/awareness
  • Sudden trouble walking or dizziness
  • Sudden weakness and numbness
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Seizure
  • Drooping eyelid

If you experience any of the symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm, call 911 immediately.

Spectrum Health's Center for Neurosciences specializes in treatment for brain aneurysms. If a doctor detects an unruptured aneurysm, there are two options a patient can take: treatment or observation. The goal of either treatment is to prevent anymore bleeding by sealing off the aneurysm with a clip or coil.

For more information about neurovascular treatment at Spectrum Health, call (616) 267-7900.