An aneurysm is a protrusion or ballooning of a blood vessel wall. This can form in various arteries in the body including the carotid arteries that are positioned in the neck which is responsible for moving blood up to the brain.
An aneurysm that forms in the carotid artery can gradually widen and damage a site in the wall, resulting to the breakage of the artery. Remember that this might occur in the extracranial site of the carotid artery or intracranial region which is within the brain.
The aneurysms can cause more evident and dangerous symptoms arise once they break and emergency medical attention is necessary.
Indications of a carotid artery aneurysm
Transient ischemic attack
The signs of an aneurysm include a mini-stroke or transient ischemic attack. This is an incident where the individual ends up with symptoms the same as stroke that include:
- Excessive tiredness or sleepiness
- Slight facial drooping
- Minimal muscular weakness in one side of the body
- Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
The condition is often a cautionary sign that a full-blown stroke can occur in the future if preventive measures are not observed.
A severe headache that arises abruptly is a distinctive indication of a ruptured aneurysm in the artery. The pain is intense that most describe it as the “worst” pain felt.
The severe headache can be accompanied by nausea, stiff neck, vomiting and even brief loss of consciousness in some cases.
A carotid artery aneurysm can form clots that can block the blood flow to the brain. A blockage can result to debilitating strokes that can lead to paralysis, damage to the brain or even death. The blood clot might even break away from the aneurysm and move to the brain, resulting to blockage of the cerebral artery.
There are visual issues that might arise from an unruptured carotid artery aneurysm. The aneurysm can cause double or blurry vision, pain above and behind the eyes as well as continuous dilated pupils. Once the aneurysm ruptures, it can lead to brief loss of vision.
Nerve and blood vessel pressure
The secondary signs of a carotid artery aneurysm can be triggered by pressure on the adjacent structures. As the aneurysm dilates, it presses against the veins and nerves, resulting to symptoms such as loss of voice or hoarseness, facial swelling and numbness or tingling on the face or mouth, difficulty swallowing and speaking.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a carotid aneurysm is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the indications of this condition by taking a standard first aid course with Toronto First Aid.