Since the optical nerves are located within the skull and connect to the brain, an aneurysm in this area can affect sight as well as produce other symptoms such as headaches, confusion and seizures. While most aneurysms do not cause symptoms or problems, and they don't usually rupture, there are some aneurysms that do rupture and they can become life threatening. Rupturing aneurysms require immediate attention by medical professionals.
Symptoms of a Leaking Aneurysm
For those optical aneurysms that do cause symptoms, an individual might experience a severe and sudden headache if the aneurysm is merely leaking blood. However, this leaking aneurysm will most likely rupture and produce additional symptoms, as well as require immediate medical attention.
Unruptured Aneurysm Symptoms
If the aneurysm has not ruptured, it can produce pain behind (or above) one or both of the eyes, a sudden or severe headache, dilated pupil(s), a drooping eyelid and a change in the vision of one or both eyes. Sometimes the vision change involves double vision. In addition, paralysis, numbness or a weakness can occur, generally only on one side of the face.
Ruptured Aneurysm Symptoms
The most serious optical aneurysm symptoms occur with a ruptured aneurysm. Symptoms for this type can include confusion, a loss of consciousness and seizures. Less dangerous symptoms can consist of a stiff neck, light sensitivity, blurred and/or double vision, and nausea or vomiting. As with the other two types of aneurysms, a sudden and/or severe headache should be expected as well. In addition, a drooping eyelid is also one of the possible symptoms of this type of optical aneurysm.
Aneurysms develop when artery walls become weak or thin and began to degenerate. Some things that contribute to the weakening of artery walls, and thus the ensuing aneurysm, include such things as considerable alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking and drug abuse. But other things can contribute to this condition too: high blood pressure, blood infections, and hardening of arteries, old age and head injuries.
In the event an individual does have an unruptured aneurysm, there are some things that can be done to aid in the possible prevention of this type of aneurysm from rupturing. One of these lifestyle changes include the reduction of any type of straining exercise, as in the use of lifting heavy weights. Another change is the elimination of any caffeinated beverage intake, since caffeine can increase blood pressure. Another lifestyle change that can help is eating a healthier diet. But one of the most helpful immediate changes would be the elimination of recreational drug or cigarette use.