What is an Aneurysm Headache? (with pictures)

Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell
The human brain, including blood vessels that can have aneurysms.
The human brain, including blood vessels that can have aneurysms.

An aneurysm occurs when a portion of a blood vessel becomes weakened, causing a bulge in the vessel due to accumulation of blood. If this vessel is located in the brain and ruptures due to the increased pressure, a sudden and extremely severe headache, known as an aneurysm headache, may develop. This is considered a medical emergency, so the patient should report to the nearest emergency room right away if an aneurysm headache is suspected. Emergency brain surgery is the most common form of treatment for a ruptured aneurysm.

Aneurysm headaches are extremely severe.
Aneurysm headaches are extremely severe.

Some patients may have an aneurysm for several months and years without being aware of it at all. This is because many aneurysms show no symptoms until they either grow large enough to cause pressure on surrounding tissues or they begin to leak or rupture. At this point, an aneurysm headache may be the only symptom present. Most headaches are not related to a severe medical condition, but because a ruptured aneurysm can be life-threatening, any sudden, severe headache should be reported to a doctor right away.

An aneurysm headache strikes suddenly and is considered a medical emergency.
An aneurysm headache strikes suddenly and is considered a medical emergency.

An aneurysm can occur in any of the blood vessels found in the brain. Therefore, specific symptoms will depend on the structures surrounding the aneurysm. In addition to an aneurysm headache, some other potential symptoms of an aneurysm include visual disturbances, pain in the eye, or even neck pain. If the headache comes on suddenly and is unbearable, this should be considered a medical emergency. It is better to have the proper tests done than to risk leaving a ruptured aneurysm untreated.

The prognosis varies for those who have suffered an aneurysm headache due to a ruptured aneurysm.
The prognosis varies for those who have suffered an aneurysm headache due to a ruptured aneurysm.

If an aneurysm ruptures, there may be additional symptoms 5hq5 accompany the aneurysm headache. Some of these symptoms may include muscle weakness, seizures, or speech impairment. Some patients may experience irritability, nausea, or sleepiness as well.

Once medical testing has confirmed that the cause of the aneurysm headache is actually due to a ruptured aneurysm, neurosurgery is almost always necessary. The goal of this type of surgery is to stop the bleeding before a significant amount of damage to the brain occurs. If the overall health of the patient does not allow surgical intervention to be an option, the doctor may attempt to control the symptoms with bed rest and medications to prevent seizures and control headaches and nausea.

The prognosis varies for those who have suffered an aneurysm headache due to a ruptured aneurysm. Unfortunately, approximately half of these patients will die within three months. The patients who survive are often left with some form of permanent disability. Some of these disabilities include impaired movement, visual changes, or seizure disorders.

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    • The human brain, including blood vessels that can have aneurysms.
      The human brain, including blood vessels that can have aneurysms.
    • Aneurysm headaches are extremely severe.
      Aneurysm headaches are extremely severe.
    • An aneurysm headache strikes suddenly and is considered a medical emergency.
      An aneurysm headache strikes suddenly and is considered a medical emergency.
    • The prognosis varies for those who have suffered an aneurysm headache due to a ruptured aneurysm.
      The prognosis varies for those who have suffered an aneurysm headache due to a ruptured aneurysm.