What is a brain aneurysm, is it the same as a brain haemorrhage and what are the signs, causes and symptoms?

DO you know the immediate symptoms or signs of a brain aneurysm if they were to happen? It can lead to a fatal brain haemorrhage if the medical condition is left untreated.

We explain what you need to know when it comes to the causes, symptoms and signs.


A brain aneurysm occurs when there is a bulge in a weakened blood vessel – this can lead to a brain haemorrhage if it ruptures[/caption]

What is a brain aneurysm?

A brain aneurysm occurs when there is a bulge in a weakened blood vessel.

Usually, brain aneurysms only cause noticeable symptoms if they burst.

This then leads to serious issues and is known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage (or brain haemorrhage).

If the aneurysm ruptures, bleeding can cause extensive brain damage – with three in five people dying within two weeks of suffering this.


If the aneurysm ruptures, bleeding can cause extensive brain damage and possibly death[/caption]

What are the symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm?

According to the NHS, signs of a brain haemorrhage include:

  • A sudden excruciating headache (similar to a sudden “bang” on the head)
  • Stiff neck
  • Sickness and vomiting
  • Pain when looking at light

Unruptured brain aneurysms can occasionally cause symptoms too.

Signs of these can include:

  • Loss of vision or double vision
  • Pain above or around the eye
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the face
  • Headaches
  • Impaired balance
  • Concentration issues or problems with short-term memory
Unruptured brain aneurysms can cause headaches

What can cause a brain aneurysm?

The exact reason why blood vessel walls weaken is still unclear, but certain risk factors have been identified.

These include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • A history of brain aneurysms in your family

While brain aneurysms can develop in anyone at any age, they are more common in people over the age of 40 and women tend to be affected more than men.

The best way to reduce the risk of an aneurysm developing and possibly bursting is to avoid activities that could damage blood vessels.

Activities include:

  • Eating a diet high in fat
  • Not controlling blood pressure
  • Being overweight or obese

The NHS website states that if you suspect someone has had a brain haemorrhage, which could be caused by a ruptured aneurysm, you should call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Those experiencing symptoms of an unruptured brain aneurysm should contact their GP as soon as possible – it’s important to get it checked in case treatment is needed.

In 2001 Sharon Stone was told by doctors she had a “five per cent chance” of living and had to “re-learn everything” after suffering a brain haemorrhage.


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