Symptoms of a brain aneurysm 

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

Unruptured brain aneurysms occasionally cause symptoms if they're 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
  • pain above or around your eye
  • numbness or weakness on one side of your face
  • difficulty speaking
  • headaches
  • loss of balance
  • difficulty concentrating or problems with short-term memory

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's 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 of a ruptured brain aneurysm also tend to come on suddenly and may include:

  • feeling or being sick
  • stiff neck or neck pain
  • sensitivity to light
  • blurred or double vision
  • sudden confusion
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizures (fits)
  • weakness on one side of the body, or on any limbs

Medical emergency

A ruptured brain aneurysm is a medical emergency. Call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance if someone is experiencing symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm.

Page last reviewed: 14/10/2015

Next review due: 14/10/2017