Aneurysm is the term that is used when a blood vessel balloons outward
or becomes abnormally large. An aneurysm causes your blood vessel to bulge like a weak spot on an old worn tire. An aneurysm may cause a blood vessel to burst at any time, which can result in death. As an aneurysm grows larger, the likelihood of a blood vessel bursting becomes greater.
Two of the primary places where an aneurysm may develop are in your aorta or at the base of your brain. The aorta is the main artery that leaves your heart. This type of aneurysm is known as an aortic aneurysm. However, an aneurysm may also develop in your intestine, spleen, back of your knees and thighs, heart, neck, brain or other areas of your body, as well.
In most instances, an aneurysm occurs in your aorta. An aneurysm is referred to as a thoracic aortic aneurysm if it develops in the chest area of your aorta. An aneurysm is known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm if it occurs in the abdominal part of your aorta.
The cause of an aneurysm is not known. Hypertension (high blood pressure) may have a role in bringing about an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Pregnancy plays a part in the development and rupture of an aneurysm that takes place in a blood vessel that goes to your spleen. Another possible cause of an aneurysm is defects that develop in some of the areas of your artery wall. The buildup of cholesterol in your arteries (atherosclerosis) may also be a cause of certain kinds of aneurysms.
The signs and symptoms that result from an aneurysm depend on where it occurs. Some of the possible signs and symptoms you may have with an aneurysm include:
A high heart rate if you have a rupture
Hypotension (low blood pressure) in the instance of a rupture
Swelling with a throbbing mass at the site of an aneurysm if it is located near the surface of your body
Lightheadedness if you have a rupture
A sudden, extremely severe headache
Vomiting and nausea
Pain in your lower back, chest, abdomen or flank (over your kidneys)
Shortness of breath or coughing
Pain or difficulty when you swallow.
When an aneurysm is located close to the surface of your body it is usually obvious, but there are some aneurysms that you cannot see. A complete physical exam, a CT scan and your medical history will help enable your doctor to evaluate and diagnose your aneurysm.
Serious, severe complications may be caused by an aneurysm. Some of these are:
Numbness and weakness
Compression of local structures
Aneurysm is listed in the Social Security Administration’s list of impairments
. However, this does not automatically qualify you to get Social Security disability benefits. Your condition still has to meet or equal the requirements of the listed impairment. You will need to submit appropriate medical evidence to verify your condition. This may not be as simple as it sounds. You may need the guidance and counsel of a disability attorney in what can prove to be a complicated application process.