Symptoms of a Brain Aneurysm
What Are Brain Aneurysm Symptoms?
There are some patient complaints that cause a fair amount of angst for physicians, because certain words conjure up fear of missing a potentially fatal diagnosis that might be curable if found early. It has been drilled into most medical students that a person complaining of "the worst headache of their life" likely has a subarachnoid hemorrhage due to a brain aneurysm - that is, the sudden rupture of a malformation of a brain artery - and action needs to be taken immediately. Even with improved technology, the diagnosis of a brain aneurysm rupture hasn't changed much in a generation. However, not all people with headaches need an MRI, CT scan and/or a lumbar puncture. Unfortunately, people sometimes exaggerate "the worst headache of your life, and the art of medicine is appreciating the severity of a patient's pain and deciding how aggressive to be in trying to make the diagnosis.
Before a disastrous bleed occurs from a ruptured aneurysm, a patient will often develop an intense sentinel, or "warning," headache due to a tiny leak in the brain. In the time between the initial small leak and the large bleed there is an opportunity to make a difference in a patient's life. If a sentinel bleed occurs, two things need to happen:
Most people will suffer from a significant headache in their lifetime, but how many need aggressive clinical evaluation, treatment, or even surgery for a possible brain aneurysm? Patients who have leaking blood that irritates brain appear in markedly ill health.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/11/2017
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Brain Aneurysm - Symptoms
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