Having a migraine can really ruin your day! But, what if there is something more serious laying behind that painful headache?
Brain aneurysms can start off by feeling like the worst headache you could possibly imagine. And, if left untreated, brain aneurysms are often fatal. But, what exactly is an aneurysm? An aneurysm is a weakened spot in the blood vessel walls that can cause bulges in the blood vessels. Typical aneurysms most commonly occur in the aorta of the heart, but brain aneurysms are common as well.
So knowing the warning signs could be the difference between life and death for you or a loved one.
Lee Broadway suffered from migraines since childhood, but her husband knew something was different when the 41-year-old called saying she had the worst headache of her life.
“I raced home and took her to the ER,” Eric, 43, told People. “I knew this couldn’t be good.” His instinct hinted at the tragedy to come. The mom of four had actually suffered a deadly brain aneurysm.
When the North Carolina couple rushed to a hospital on April 1, “She was begging to have the pain go away,” Eric said. “As a husband, you want to protect your wife and help her, but there was nothing I could do.”
It didn’t take long for the doctors to confirm that Lee had suffered a brain aneurysm and she died just two days later.
Doctors are urging patients to seek attention if they have the following warning signs:
- Blurred or double-vision
- A painful headache like you’ve never had before
- Over-sensitivity to light that can come on suddenly
- An instant stiff neck
- Constant feeling of nausea and the urge to vomit
- Drooping eyelids
- Losing consciousness
- Feeling numb in the face
- A stabbing pain above or behind a single eye
- Hearing noises that are similar to gunshots or explosions
It’s particularly hard to spot the differences between a brain aneurysm and a normal headache or a migraine. If a brain aneurysm ruptures, an immediate and extremely severe headache can immediately be felt. Nonetheless, the striking similarity in symptoms between migraines and brain aneurysms can make it easy to shrug it off as ‘just another headache’.
While some are prone to inherit the tendency to form aneurysms, there are other risk factors that can cause them. If you’ve had an aneurysm in the past, then you are more likely to have another one. Race is another risk factor that plays a role and African Americans are more likely to have aneurysms than Caucasians. People who have high blood pressure are more prone to them and smoking, which also leads to high blood pressure, can certainly be a risk factor for a ruptured brain aneurysm.
As with most things, it’s always best to stay educated on trends and statistics about certain conditions, as they could help save your life and the lives of those you love. While we are sometimes hesitant to go to the doctor, it’s always the safest bet to get checked out if something doesn’t feel right.
If you’re dealing with any of these symptoms or know someone who does, it’s extremely important to consult a doctor or a specialist. Not all headaches are the same and taking precautions saves lives.