What are the symptoms of an aneurysm that has ruptured?

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Dr. Charles E. Stout, MD
Diagnostic Radiologist

While some symptoms of a cerebral aneurysm are similar to those of a hemorrhagic stroke, they do have their differences. Charles Stout, MD, from Riverside Community Hospital discusses the different symptoms in this video.

Dr. Geoffrey P. Colby, MD
Neurosurgeon

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.

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

Continue Learning about Brain Aneurysms

Brain Aneurysms

The arteries in the brain occasionally develop a weak spot or bulge, which is called an aneurysm. The concern is that it can burst or rupture at that weak spot, causing blood to leak into the brain, a brain aneurysm hemorrhage. A ...

rupture is very serious, often fatal or leaving permanent paralysis and disability. Doctors detect aneurysms with various scans. There are two surgical treatments that reduce the risk of rupture. One is open brain surgery (craniotomy) the other, less invasive, is endovascular surgery. Which is appropriate depends on where the aneurysm is located. An aneurysm is a very serious medical condition and requires immediate attention.
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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.