What are the symptoms of an aneurysm that has ruptured?

An aneurysm that has burst or ruptured allows blood to flow into the space surrounding the brain (subarachnoid space) or directly into the brain. The symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm come on suddenly. You may experience:

  • A sudden, severe headache (many people describe this type of headache as "the worst headache of my life")
  • Severe stiff neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Double vision
  • Mental confusion
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Losing consciousness
Dr. Geoffrey P. Colby, MD

The main symptom of a ruptured, or hemorrhaged, aneurysm is a sudden, severe headache. People often say it's the worst headache of their life. Or they may describe the feeling of something tearing inside their head. It is a very dramatic event. Other related symptoms include severe neck pain and any neurological problems such as impaired speech, weakness, stumbling or a collapse. We don't want to wait until someone has a hemorrhage to treat them because 50% of the time the patient becomes disabled or dies as a result of the hemorrhage. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.