Aneurysm is an abnormal bulge that appears on the wall of the blood vessels. If it bursts it causes internal bleeding which usually has fatal consequences. The symptoms include severe migraines accompanied by pulsing sensation and throbbing pain on one side of the head.

Lee Broadway, a mother of five children, died on April 1, 2017 due to a ruptured brain aneurysm. Namely, she had been suffering from severe migraines since her early childhood.

At first, the doctors at the emergency room told her husband, Eric Broadway that everything will be alright.

However, just after two hours he was told that there was nothing they could do to save her life.

As reported by Eric, during the aneurysm procedure, a severe complication occurred which resulted in blood loss.

Lee passed away just 5 days after she celebrated her 42nd birthday.

Educating the public

After hearing about Lee’s story, Dr. Howard Riina (a vice chairman and professor at the NYU Langone Medical Center) decided to raise public awareness regarding this heath issue. Namely, he emphasized the correlation between migraines and aneurysms.

As he revealed, the headache triggered by aneurysm is the worst type of headache in someone’s life. People who suffer from it come to the emergency room since they feel like they have been struck by lightning. This type of headache cannot be compared to the ordinary one which we may often feel.

Dr. Riina also said that people with history of migraines have visual disturbances (auras) and they do a lot of things to relieve the symptoms, such as staying in a quiet, dark room or taking some medicine. However, if these things do not help, they certainly have an aneurysm. The type of headache they experience is totally different from the ordinary headaches.

In other words, if you have a history of migraines and all of your self-treatment methods do not help, then you should seek medical assistance on time.

Here are some aneurysm facts:

1. Unruptured aneurysms affect millions of people worldwide

It has been estimated that about 5-10% of the world’s population have an unruptured aneurysm. Roughly, it is about 350 – 700 million people.

2. Unruptured aneurysms are often asymptomatic

Dr. Riina estimates that 1 to 2% of the aneurysms burst each year. In most cases, the affected individual has no symptoms.

3. The key indicator is the family history

If you had a close family member suffering from aneurysm you should mention it to your health care provider or neurologist.

4. Certain habits and conditions increase the risk

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and polycystic kidney disease are two medical conditions which raise the risk of a brain aneurysm. The risk gets higher with certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking and high-fat diet.

Diseases that damage the tissue can also lead to aneurysms, such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, abnormally narrow aorta and cerebral arteriovenous malformations.

Dr. Riina also adds that you don’t need to get a screening test unless you suffer from one of these health conditions or you have a family history.

Common signs of a ruptured aneurysm:

• Blurred or double vision
• A drooping eyelid
• Loss of consciousness
• Confusion
• Seizure
• Nausea and vomiting
• Sudden and highly severe headache
• Sensitivity to light

Unruptured aneurysm may be characterized by the following symptoms:

• Change in vision (usually double vision)
• A dilated pupil
• Pain behind or above one eye
• Numbness of one side of the face

Possible complications:

• Hyponatremia
• Hydrocephalus
• Re-bleeding
• Vasospasm

If you experience any of the symptoms above, call the emergency services and seek immediate medical help!

Prevention:

• Start consuming healthy foods (whole grains, fruits and vegetables)
• Do regular exercises (cardio)
• Quit smoking
• Do annual checkups

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