Generally defined as a swelling in the wall of an artery, an aneurysm can occur at any time and can affect people of all ages. As the swelling increases, the aneurysm fills with blood and grows in size. The larger the aneurysm gets, the more chance there is of it rupturing or bleeding. So, continue reading and let's learn how to avoid aneurysms.
Although an aneurysm can affect any artery in the body, they are particularly dangerous if they occur in the brain, the heart, the thoracic aorta or the abdominal aorta. A leaking or ruptured aneurysm in these areas is normally life-threatening and must be treatment quickly if the patient is to survive.
In some cases, people may be unaware that they have an aneurysm at all, particularly if they don’t notice any symptoms. In these cases, the rupturing of the aneurysm can come without warning and may prove fatal.
However, in many cases, symptoms do precede the leaking or rupturing of an aneurysm. If an aneurysm is present in or around the brain, for example, the patient may experience double vision, speech problems, unsteadiness and fatigue.
Alternatively, an aneurysm on the kidney may result in hypertension, pain or tenderness in the side or haematuria. Although abdominal aneurysms can be life-threatening, they aren’t generally symptomatic. Upon examination, however, a physician may be able to feel a large aneurysm in the abdominal area.
Although some types of aneurysm are hereditary, others are acquired. In cases of acquired aneurysm, there may be steps you can take avoid one occurring. Due to the life-threatening nature of the condition, it’s important to know how to avoid aneurysms, if it’s possible to do so.
For example, diabetes, obesity and hypertension have all been identified as aneurysm risk factors. If patients are able to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle, the risk of an aneurysm may be reduced.
However, when determining how to avoid aneurysms, other factors should be taken into account as well. Smoking, high cholesterol and copper deficiency have also been linked to aneurysms. By quitting smoking, reducing cholesterol and avoiding deficiencies, people may able to avoid an aneurysm occurring.
Whilst lifestyle factors are an important part of how to avoid aneurysm, the condition can also be caused by the presence of other illnesses. Advanced syphilis, brain infections and tuberculosis, for example, can all precede an aneurysm. If a patient is treated for any other these conditions, physicians should also monitor them for the presence of aneurysms so that they can be treated quickly.
The appropriate treatment for the condition will depend on the location of the aneurysm, as well as any pre-existing conditions or risk factors which may be present.
If a brain aneurysm occurs, there are two main forms of treatment. Surgeons will either use surgical clipping or endovascular coiling to close or clot the aneurysm. If successful, this should prevent a rupture occurring.
When treating other types of aneurysms, bypass grafts may be appropriate. Strengthening the wall of the artery can be used to limit the growth of aneurysm and, therefore, to reduce the risk of it rupturing.
When renal aneurysms occur, they are normally treated without surgery. As the risk of rupture is fairly low for patients with renal aneurysms, the condition can normally be managed if hypertension is controlled. However, if pregnant woman are affected by a renal aneurysm, the risk of rupture can increase so surgery may be the only viable treatment option.
Although aneurysms can result in a medical emergency, they often present no symptoms and pose no threat to the patient. Indeed, many people may have relatively small aneurysms and be completely unaware of them.
However, when aneurysms remain silent but continue to grow, the patient could be in danger of a catastrophic rupture. In such cases, immediate medical intervention is required. Should the rupture be left untreated, the blood loss is likely to result in death.
When aneurysms do present symptoms, this can often result in a better outcome for patients. Swift diagnosis, monitoring and treatment can ensure that the aneurysm does not rupture and does not present a risk to life.