Broken Blood Vessel
Is A Broken Blood Vessel Of Concern?
A broken blood vessel need not be dangerous to our well being; in fact we experience them quite often, generally without knowing it. They repair themselves over time, and resume going about their business of channeling blood to and from the heart, and to and from our bodily organs. As far as any danger to our well being is concerned, size, and to a lesser extent location, matters.
Some Breakage Is Normal – Even Healthy - If you are young and athletic, as you work out and push your muscles to or beyond normal limits, there will be some damage done to the muscles, including tearing of tissue and breakage of tiny blood vessels. This is all a part of exercise and conditioning and, when we experience sore muscles as a result, part of the soreness can be attributed to torn tissue and a broken blood vessel or two. This is a perfectly normal situation.
Another normal situation comes with age. As our skin becomes less flexible due to aging, there is a greater susceptibility towards damaging blood vessels near the surface of the skin. We usually see this as a bruise, a blood spot, or even a rash. Such an occurrence is usually little more than a temporary cosmetic concern. Medications applied topically, such as cortisone, can also weaken tissue and blood vessels in the area of application. For the most part then, a broken blood vessel is of little concern as the vessel is small and not in a critical area such as the brain.
Blood Vessels Range From Large To Microscopic - Blood vessels come in all sizes, and it's fair to say that the larger the blood vessel, the more danger we are likely to face if one breaks. The largest blood vessels are the arteries which carry blood away from the heart. Breakage of an artery is a very serious situation indeed, requiring medical attention and requiring it quickly. Because of the action of the heart, blood is literally pumped out of the artery and initial treatment is almost always an attempt to stop the flow by applying pressure. The arteries branch out into smaller vessels called arterioles, which branch out still further into veins and capillaries. In the normal course of events, we are fortunate in that when we suffer a broken blood vessel it is usually either a vein or a capillary.
The Dangers We Can Face - here are several dangers associated with breaking a blood vessel. An obvious one of course is loss of blood, which can be significant if a major artery is broken or damaged. A second danger is associated with the clotting of blood. Here a smaller vessel may be involved, but damage is great enough for a sizable blood clot to form. If the clot breaks loose and travels to the heart or lungs the consequences can be quite severe and even fatal. A blood clot that makes its way to the brain can deprive the brain of oxygen, leading to a stroke, or death as the brain begins shutting down the body's organs. A third dangerous situation is a broken blood vessel in the brain, where hemorrhaging can quickly lead to permanent brain damage or death. This situation is usually the result of an aneurysm, which is a weak spot in the blood vessel. A weak spot may never rupture, and we can live out our lives having one or more of these aneurysms in our body. It is only when they do rupture that they present a danger. People with high blood pressure have a greater chance of experiencing a ruptured blood vessel, which is one reason why doctors are so concerned about their patient's blood pressure.
If there is a history or cerebral hemorrhages, high blood pressure, or any cardiovascular problems in your family, make certain your doctor is aware of it. There are many preventive actions and medications that can help limit your broken blood vessel problems to the small stuff.