Symptoms of a brain aneurysm 

A brain aneurysm rarely causes any symptoms unless it bursts (ruptures).

However, unruptured brain aneurysms occasionally cause symptoms if they are particularly large or press against tissues or nerves inside the brain.

Symptoms of an unruptured brain aneurysm can include:

  • visual disturbances – such as loss of vision or double vision
  • difficulties moving one of your eyes
  • pain on one side of your face or around your eye
  • inability to move some of your facial muscles (usually only affecting one side of your face), which may make it difficult to speak
  • headaches
  • seizures (fits)

You should see your GP as soon as possible if you experience symptoms of an unruptured brain aneurysm. Although most aneurysms won't rupture, it is important to get it checked in case treatment is necessary.

Ruptured brain aneurysm

Symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm usually begin with a sudden agonising headache. It's been likened to being hit on the head, resulting in a blinding pain unlike anything experienced before.

Other symptoms include:

  • stiff neck
  • feeling or being sick
  • sensitivity to light
  • enlarged (dilated) pupils
  • blurred or double vision
  • confusion
  • loss of consciousness

Medical emergency

A ruptured brain aneurysm is a medical emergency. If you suspect that you or someone in your care has had a ruptured brain aneurysm, call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Page last reviewed: 21/08/2013

Next review due: 21/08/2015