Aneurysm symptoms can vary greatly depending on the location being affected in a patient’s body. Defined as a balloon-like bulge in an artery, an aneurysm can be categorized in four different ways based on the area in which the affected artery is located. The four types of aneurysms are cerebral (located in the brain), thoracic aortic (chest), abdominal aortic (abdomen), and peripheral (related to an artery other than the aorta and not in the brain).
Often, an aneurysm that hasn’t ruptured doesn’t produce symptoms and remains undetected. However, a large aneurysm may affect blood flow to other blood vessels or may impact nearby tissues such as nerves, which can produce warning signs that include:
- Headaches, dilated pupils, blurred vision, and difficulty speaking – These indicators can occur if a cerebral aneurysm presses on the brain or associated nerves.
- Pain in your back or throbbing in your abdomen – These warning signs can indicate the presence of a large abdominal aortic aneurysm.
- Pain in your neck, jaw, back, or chest – A large thoracic aortic aneurysm can produce these symptoms, as well as coughing, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, and shortness of breath.
If an aneurysm ruptures, however, the symptoms can change greatly and the situation becomes much more dangerous. Indications of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm can include a sudden severe headache, loss of consciousness, nausea, sudden blurred vision, and sudden dizziness. Ruptured aneurysms in other parts of the body can lead to sudden and sharp pain in the area of the aneurysm, as well as a rapid heart rate, sweaty skin, nausea, and shock. A patient experiencing any of these ruptured aneurysm symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
At Tampa General Hospital’s Cardiovascular Center, our team of specialists utilizes state-of-the-art technology to treat all types of heart and vascular conditions, including aneurysms.