What Are the Symptoms of an Aneurysm in the Brain?

Small, unruptured aneurysms in the brain have no symptoms, but larger aneurysms may press on the brain and cause a localized headache, dilated pupils, blurred vision, and pain behind or above the eye, explains the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. Symptoms of ruptured aneurysms in the brain are serious and sudden, and they include sensitivity to light, severe headache and seizures, according to WebMD.

A severe headache is a sign of an aneurysm that has ruptured, according to Mayo Clinic. Most patients describe it as the worst headache of their lives, reports MedicineNet. This is because when the aneurysm raptures, blood irritates the brain and causes severe pain.

Other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, confusion and sensitivity to light, accompany the headache, according to Mayo Clinic. A subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is blood leaking into one of the membranes that cover the spinal canal and brain, may cause stiffness and pain in the neck, reports MedicineNet.

In severe cases, the patient may lose consciousness, reports Mayo Clinic. A ruptured aneurysm may damage blood vessels and interrupt the flow of blood to healthy brain tissue, leading to an ischemic stroke, explains the American Stroke Association. A ruptured aneurysm may also damage the brain itself and lead to a hemorrhagic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke can cause trouble understanding language or speaking, paralysis of a leg or arm, vision problems, and seizures.