What is an aneurysm? Are aneurysms life-threatening? Aneurysm is a bulge or a disproportionate stretching of the wall of an artery, vein or the heart itself. Generally there is a stretching/bulge exceeding 1.5 to 2 times the normal size of the blood vessel. Aneurysms and heart health problems co-exist almost always side by side.
Aneurysms can happen in any blood vessel, and but the ones in need of medical follow-up are found in
Heart and thoracic aorta
The rupture of an aneurysm in above areas may prove fatal despite emergent medical care. Cardiac aneurysm is when it occurs in heart muscle mostly in left ventricle. Monitoring the aneurism and heart screens are the first line of defence against aneurisms.
The common causes for aneurysm and heart problems result from unhealthy life style resulting in
High blood pressure
Atherosclerosis deposit build-up
These causes result in build-up of aneurysm, its growth leading to rupture of aneurysm. Heart aneurysms can happen just after a major heart attack in scarred/dead left ventricle tissues and rupture of this aneurysm is almost fatal.
Mostly aneurysms show no symptoms until they are too big and start pressing against nearby areas causing intense pain with following symptoms:
Aortic aneurysms - acute pain in chest area, abdomen and in between shoulder blades/back
Thoracic aneurysms - pressure against lungs and airways resulting in gruff voice, shortness of breath, hoarseness, harsh cough and problems with swallowing
Brain aneurysm - headaches, giddiness and problems with vision, hearing etc
Commonly after rupture of aneurism and heart attack, stroke, and shock etc, aneurysm presence is identified.
Any persistent unexplained pain symptoms as mentioned above need prompt medical attention. Detection of aneurisms are done with
Magnetic resonance imaging
Small-size aneurisms do not cause problems but need checking. Management of aneurisms and heart care measures with these screening tests can keep the risk to minimum.
Blood pressure management
Irregular heart rhythm
Reducing heart-attack risks, maintaining healthy blood-pressure levels, changing over to healthy lifestyle are essential for controlling aneurysm and heart related problems. Leading independent clinics like Cardiac Screen Ltd offer comprehensive screening packages for diagnosing and treating aneurysms successfully.