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Nonruptured Cerebral Aneurysm
A nonruptured cerebral aneurysm
is a bulging or weak area in an artery that brings blood to your brain. The area fills with blood and expands. The aneurysm can expand so much that blood bursts through the artery. This is a hemorrhagic stroke. An aneurysm that has not burst can be managed or treated to prevent it from rupturing. An aneurysm can happen anywhere in your brain. They most commonly form between the brain and the base of the skull.
Common signs and symptoms include the following:
Cerebral aneurysms usually have no signs or symptoms if they have not ruptured. A large nonruptured aneurysm can press on nerves and cause symptoms. The following symptoms may mean the aneurysm is at risk of rupturing:
- A headache in one area
- Pain above and behind one eye
- Dilated pupil in one eye
- Vision changes or double vision
- Numb or weak feeling in your face, or not being able to move one side of your face
- Eyelid drooping
- Nausea or vomiting
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Numbness or drooping on one side of your face
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
- You lose consciousness or have a seizure.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have a stiff neck or trouble walking.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- You have blurred or double vision, or you are sensitive to light.
- You suddenly feel weak.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Treatment for a nonruptured cerebral aneurysm
may include having it checked regularly by your healthcare provider. He may order tests that check the size of your aneurysm. An aneurysm that has not ruptured may not need to be treated. Treatment may be used to prevent a rupture if the aneurysm becomes large or you have symptoms. You may also need treatment if you have a family history of ruptured aneurysms. The type of treatment depends on the size and location of the aneurysm. Your healthcare provider may fill the aneurysm with coils or other devices. He may move blood flow away from the aneurysm. You may need surgery to have a small metal clip placed around the base of the aneurysm. The clip stays in place permanently to keep blood out of the aneurysm.
Manage a nonruptured aneurysm:
- Control high blood pressure. Keep your blood pressure at the level your healthcare provider recommends. If you are a woman, ask your healthcare provider if birth control pills are safe for you. Birth control pills can also increase blood pressure.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine can damage blood vessels and make it more difficult to manage your blood pressure. Do not use e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in place of cigarettes or to help you quit. They still contain nicotine. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.
- Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. Alcohol and illegal drugs such as cocaine can increase your blood pressure. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, beans, lean meats, fish, and low-fat dairy products. Your healthcare provider or dietitian can help you create a meal plan to help control high blood pressure or cholesterol. You may also need to limit sodium (salt).
- Exercise as directed. Exercise can help control your blood pressure and cholesterol level. Ask your healthcare provider how much exercise you need each day and which exercises are best for you.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need ongoing tests to check the size and condition of the aneurysm over time. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.