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A woman experiences significant pain in her head and wonders if she should go to the ER.

Signs That You May Have a Brain Aneurysm and Need To Go To the ER

Nov 11, 2020

According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, a brain aneurysm ruptures every 18 minutes in the United States, and ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 40% of cases. Therefore, it’s extremely important to understand the risk factors and signs, so you can seek help at your closest emergency room if you or your loved one shows symptoms of a brain aneurysm.

Risk Factors for Brain Aneurysms

1. Family and Personal History

If an individual has a family history of brain aneurysms, they have an increased likelihood of developing one. Additionally, individuals who have had a brain aneurysm in the past are more likely to have subsequent aneurysms.

2. Gender

Women are more likely than men to develop a brain aneurysm or to suffer a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Women suffer from brain aneurysms at a ratio of 3:2 when compared to men.

3. High Blood Pressure

Individuals who have a history of high blood pressure are at a higher risk for a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

4. Smoking

In addition to being a cause of high blood pressure, cigarette smoking may greatly increase the chances of a brain aneurysm rupturing.

Visit the ER if You Notice These Symptoms

While most brain aneurysms cause no symptoms, individuals with large brain aneurysms that have not yet ruptured may experience severe localized headaches, blurred vision, changes in speech and neck pain, depending on the size and location of the aneurysm.

The following symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm often come on quickly and individuals experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Sudden severe headache that is different from previous headaches
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stiff neck
  • Sudden blurred or double vision
  • Sudden pain above or behind the eye or difficulty seeing
  • Sudden change in mental status or awareness
  • Sudden trouble walking or dizziness
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Seizures

With ruptured brain aneurysms, every moment matters, which is why it’s important to seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 or visiting your closest emergency room if you or loved one exhibits symptoms of a brain aneurysm.

Brain Aneurysm Foundation | Warning Signs/ Symptoms
WebMD | What Is a Brain Aneurysm?