A ruptured brain aneurysm can cause permanent neurological damage or be fatal. In most cases, aneurysms rupture with minimal warning, and many patients are unable to receive medical help in time. Aneurysms can be small and cause no symptoms; they are often discovered only during brain scans. Surgery can prevent the growth of an aneurysm and prevent it from rupturing in the future. If an aneurysm is quite large, however, it can place pressure on the brain and cause severe and sudden pain. Those with large brain aneurysms may experience various symptoms, any of which may be cause for immediate medical attention. The symptoms include a sudden or severe headache, vomiting, an inexplicably stiff neck, blurred or double vision, changes in mental state, sudden trouble walking, sensitivity to light, drooping eyelids, and sudden seizures. In the case of an aneurysm, blood leaking into the space around the brain causes the symptoms.
Risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, family history of aneurysms, the presence of brain tumors, cocaine use, and severe brain injury all increase one's risk of developing a brain aneurysm. People over 40 are also more susceptible than younger individuals. Women are three times more likely than men to have brain aneurysms, and those of Hispanic descent are more likely to have a brain aneurysm rupture.
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