Health and fitness

5 things you should know about brain aneurysms

Headaches, a sudden loss for words, even momentary forgetfulness—these are things some people associate with brain aneurysms. But what are aneurysms, really, and just how serious and dangerous can they be? Read on and find out.

Nathan Arciaga

You’ve heard of that one story—a friend of a friend or somebody someone knew from somewhere was just happily going along his merry way, doing the most mundane thing, when they suddenly complain of a headache, pass out, and die in a matter of minutes.

It’s a particularly scary way to go, and when you ask what happened, people just say, “aneurysm daw.” Its sudden onset, coupled with the general lack of information about this circumstance, keeps this medical condition shrouded in medical half-truths and myths. People get headaches and wonder: Is this the end? Keep panic at bay and learn these five facts about brain aneurysms.


What are brain aneurysms?

According to the article "The Basics of Brain Aneurysms: A Guide for Patients," a brain aneurysm is a weak or thin spot on a blood vessel wall in the brain that balloons out and fills with blood. It can sometimes be benign, which may mean you have nothing to worry about. However, sometimes, the swollen artery ruptures or breaks, releasing blood directly into the skull. Imagine an aging, rusty pipe in your sink. It suddenly bursts and floods the entire kitchen.

The paper, which was published in a 2008 edition of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology, cites that a rupture can lead to serious complications, such as a stroke, permanent nerve damage, or death.


Could people be predisposed to brain aneurysms?

A brain aneurysm can be genetic. If someone in your family has gone through it, you may want to get checked yourself. For some reason, more women have been affected by this condition than men. The odds of suffering through this condition also increase when you get past 40. High blood pressure is almost always a factor, too, as it causes strain on the arteries. Moreover, smoking has also been determined as a reason. So, if you tend to take a puff now and then and you need that compelling reason to quit, maybe not having a brain aneurysm is that reason.


How to tell if it's a brain aneurysm?

Relax. Generally, a headache could be anything. Most of the time, it's anything but serious. Headaches associated with an aneurysm are much more severe and sudden and come with blurred vision, slurring, and neck pain. Still, if the headache is intense, have yourself checked.


What triggers the aneurysm to rupture?

If a physician has already diagnosed you as suffering from a brain aneurysm, you might need to cut down on certain food items and activities to prevent them from rupturing. Diet plays a large part in it—coffee and soda are no-nos.

You’d be surprised that too much exercise may even be detrimental for someone who has a brain aneurysm. Extreme emotions like anger and surprise are the leading cause of aneurysm rupture.

According to a medical journal called Stroke, shock and surprise increase the likelihood of a hemorrhage the most. That may mean no horror movies or teleseryes for those who have it.


Is there a cure for brain aneurysms?

If you have a brain aneurysm and you want to get rid of it, you have to get brain surgery. As you can imagine, this is very risky. Your doctor may even advise against it. Monitoring and management is the best course of action. Identifying the things that could trigger rupture could spell the difference between life and death.

An aneurysm may be a shocking thing, but how you handle it doesn't have to be a surprise. FWD Life Insurance has Set for Health, an insurance plan that offers financial peace of mind to Filipinos by allowing them to claim up to 3x for critical illness, including “brain aneurysm requiring surgery.”

With an insurance plan to protect you, the threat of critical illness won’t pull you back from enjoying the joys of wellbeing. Contact an FWD financial advisor now to see how you can receive protection for up to three unrelated major critical illnesses and get coverage until you're 75.

To discover more on how you can live the joy of wellbeing, click here.