Life After Brain Aneurysm: Long-Term Effects
Supporting patients in rebuilding their lives after a brain aneurysm is paramount. Recognizing the long-term effects and offering ongoing care is key to helping them navigate and embrace a fulfilling post-aneurysm life.
What is a Brain Aneurysm?
A brain aneurysm is caused by a weak artery bulging and putting pressure on brain tissue, which may also rupture (hemorrhage) and spill blood into the brain. Brain aneurysms can be minor and cause no symptoms, or can rupture and cause seizures and potentially death. Damage to the brain and nervous tissue can cause long-term symptoms that can be life-changing. Understanding these symptoms can help you learn to cope with them and improve your quality of life.
Introduction to Life After Brain Aneurysm
If you or a loved one has survived a brain aneurysm, then you may experience short or long-term physical or neurological deficits. Not everyone experiences these issues, and they are worse if the aneurysm ruptured. In some cases, these issues may be subtle, and you might not notice them yourself. Family members who see you daily may see them, or they may become noticeable when you return to work or more intense activities.
You should talk to your doctor about how to deal with changes and your doctor is likely to recommend therapy to help with coping skills.
Long Term-Effects of Brain Aneurysm
According to BAF, here are the most common long-term effects.
- Fatigue. Fatigue is not just being tired, it is being tired all the time.
- Headaches. Chronic headaches are a common result of a ruptured aneurysm. Headaches can also be a side effect of treatment.
- Seizures. Treatment for aneurysms in certain parts of the brain can cause seizures.
- Constipation. This might seem like a strange complication from treating an aneurysm, but it can be caused by narcotic pain medications and/or lack of activity.
- Loss of Coordination. A ruptured aneurysm can cause loss of coordination and balance problems, depending on where it is.
- Behavioral Changes. Your personality and behavior may change. Many survivors struggle to control their emotions. You might also feel isolated or experience low self-esteem. Depression and anxiety are common.
- Speech Difficulties. You may develop slurred speech or a speech defect, and you may require speech therapy to retrain yourself.
- Hearing loss. Depending on the location of the aneurysm, you might experience short or long-term hearing loss.
- Memory problems. Some people experience issues recalling information, learning new material, or envisioning future events.
- Vision changes. Depending on where the aneurysm was, you may experience blurred vision and difficulty focusing.
- Jaw pain. Pain and stiffness in your jaw is common after a ruptured or treated aneurysm.
What is the Treatment for Brain Aneurysm?
Small aneurysms that are not causing symptoms and are unlikely to rupture may not need treatment. Treatment can have serious complications and sometimes it’s better not to touch it. If you have an aneurysm that is not being treated, it is recommended to stop smoking, avoid stimulants, and take your blood pressure medication.
However, brain aneurysms may be treated with:
- Microvascular clipping: This is open brain surgery in which the surgeon cuts off blood supply to the aneurysm.
- Platinum coil embolism: A doctor inserts a catheter into an artery and threads it to the brain aneurysm, then puts tiny coils into the aneurysm to block it.
- Flow diversion devices: This is similar to the stents used for heart blockages and is used for very large aneurysms.
- Antiseizure drugs: These are used to prevent seizures after an aneurysm ruptures.
- Calcium channel blockers to reduce the risk of stroke.
- A shunt to drain off cerebrospinal fluid and prevent pressure.
- Rehabilitative therapy to help with long-term complications.
Maintaining a Good Quality of Life After Brain Aneurysm
First of all, it is best to accept that you might not be able to get back to where you were soon or ever, and that’s okay. Therapy is recommended for survivors. A therapist can teach coping mechanisms, help you deal with behavioral changes, and work with memory training.
You may need medication, such as anti-seizure medication or pain medication. If you have hearing loss, it’s important to address it. Hearing loss is a risk factor for dementia, so if you find yourself turning up the television, get yourself fitted for hearing aids. You may also need to start wearing glasses.
The important thing is to keep in mind is that you are still you and not let your condition make you depressed by taking it one day at a time.
Explore Brain Aneurysm Treatment Options with Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic
If you or a loved one has survived a brain aneurysm, you need good ongoing care to help reduce deficits and improve your quality of life. The aftermath of a brain aneurysm can feel incredibly discouraging. Patients can have a hard time learning how to navigate the long-term effects that comes with its own social, emotional, and behavioral changes. At Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic, we provide the tools patients need. Contact us today and our brain aneurysm specialist in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja, to learn more about our comprehensive interventional tools and how we can help restore quality of life for patients after a ruptured brain aneurysm.
Note: If you believe someone displays symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm, you must seek medical assistance immediately. Timely diagnosis and treatment can improve the chances of survival and reduce severe complications due to a debilitating stroke, for example. Learn more about the warning signs and symptoms of a brain aneurysm.
Consult a Stroke Specialist in Singapore
Dr. Manish Taneja, is an expert in endovascular and image guided neurointerventional procedures of brain and spine. It’s important to find a stroke specialist and doctor you can trust in Singapore. He has special interest in treatment of brain aneurysms, stroke and vascular malformations. Come in for a further evaluation. Arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our stroke specialist.
Brain Aneurysm Resources
Discover brain aneurysm resources that go beyond the basics designed for patients. Understand the meaning of a brain aneurysm condition, the causes, symptoms, signs, and more. Connect with your brain health.
Put Brain Aneurysm on Your Health Radar
Did you experience the worst headache of your life? Could it be a brain aneurysm that ruptures, which means bleeding in the brain? Thoughts could be racing through your mind. Then what is the difference between unruptured (a weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that balloons) or ruptured brain aneurysm? If you’re wondering, then the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is here to help. It’s important to look out for the tell-tale brain aneurysm symptoms, signs, causes, and risk factors.
Dr. Manish Taneja has been performing brain aneurysm treatments since 1995 from surgical clipping to latest minimally invasive procedures. Each patient is unique as is the size and location of the aneurysm. Your brain has different conditions to treat the aneurysm and artery vessel walls of a blood vessel in the brain. This calls for personalised brain aneurysm treatment depending on your symptoms, family, history, medication, and more. A simple CT scan could be just what the doctor ordered and the first step in early detection and prevention of a brain aneurysm. Come in for an easy consultation with our brain aneurysm specialist in Singapore to be on your health radar.
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