By Olivia Capriotti
It’s 9:45 PM in a suburban town. A woman named Lucy is hooked up to an IV, nurses working to bring her heart rate down. She is weak and blood has filled spaces in her brain where it shouldn’t be.
Earlier that day, Lucy was in a meeting, organizing a social event with her co-workers. She was the “health nut” of the group– going on runs everyday, eating right, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep. In the middle of planning with her co-workers, she collapsed and began to have a seizure.
When her husband received a phone call that Lucy had been rushed to the ER, he immediately drove to the local hospital. Little did they know that if the nurses hadn’t detected a ruptured aneurysm in her brain, Lucy would’ve died that night.
Just like this woman, others will live their lives without knowing they have a life-threatening condition: a brain aneurysm. Without being informed about it, it can affect them tremendously.
An aneurysm is a weak bulge in the wall of an artery that transports blood to the brain. In rare cases, it can rupture or break. The rupture can result in brain damage or even worse: death. Many aneurysms will go unnoticed. They won’t be detected unless an individual has gotten a brain screening for an unrelated reason, or complained of symptoms associated with an aneurysm. It is estimated that 1 in 50 Americans are affected.
To put out information about aneurysms, an organization called the Brain Aneurysm Foundation has established September as Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month. The foundation aims to reduce aneurysm ruptures by raising awareness of the signs, symptoms, and risk factors for brain aneurysms.
According to WebMD, the following are factors that can put an individual at risk:
- Inheriting the tendency to form an aneurysm
- Certain genetic diseases such as connective tissue disorder
- Hardening of arteries
- If you are a woman, you are more at risk
- African Americans are more at risk than Caucasians to develop an aneurysm
- Having a history of high blood pressure
Despite those risks, these are the symptoms to know about:
- A sudden, severe headache
- Losing consciousness or fainting
- Pressure on sides of head
- Drooping eyelids
- Sensitivity to light
By raising awareness, we can become more informed about how this condition is able to affect people across not only the nation, but the world. Start today by using #BrainAneurysmAwarenessMonth on Twitter and other social media platforms to spread the word.