A brain aneurysm occurs when part of an artery wall weakens and swells. A ruptured aneurysm occurs when that artery bursts, releasing blood into the brain. An aneurysm can result from a head injury, disease or congenital problem present from birth. Ruptured brain aneurysms are very serious and can cause permanent damage or death.
The Novant Health Aneurysm Clinic at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center provides a coordinated care plan for patients with brain aneurysms that have not ruptured. A team led by Greg Joseph, MD, a neurointerventional radiologist with Mecklenburg Radiology Associates, follows patients for a minimum of five years in an outpatient clinic and performs procedures in the hospital when necessary. Dr. Joseph and his team aim to help patients live with brain aneurysms for many years without experiencing any ill effects.
Most brain aneurysms that have not ruptured do not cause symptoms and are only found during tests for unrelated conditions. However, some aneurysms that have not ruptured can cause symptoms by putting pressure on areas of the brain, which can lead to severe headaches, speech changes, neck pain and blurred vision.
When a brain aneurysm ruptures, symptoms are usually sudden and severe. A ruptured brain aneurysm is a life-threatening medical emergency. The following symptoms may indicate a ruptured brain aneurysm:
- A sudden, intense headache that is different from past headaches
- Severe neck pain
- Nausea with vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
If you or a loved one experiences any of the above symptoms, call 911 immediately.
To learn more about the Novant Health Aneurysm Clinic, call the neuroscience navigator at 704-316-6239.