Ruptured Aneurysm Basics
An aneurysm that has bled is called a ruptured aneurysm. When an aneurysm ruptures, the blood from the aneurysm usually goes into the spinal fluid in the space surrounding the brain (called the subarachnoid space); this type of bleeding is called a Bleeding into the space around the brain (the subarachnoid space)..
A ruptured aneurysm usually causes a sudden severe headache, often described as the “worst headache of my life.” Other signs of rupture are:
- Stiff neck
- Blurred or double vision
- Sensitivity to light
- A drooping eyelid
- A dilated pupil
- Pain above and behind the eye
- Loss of consciousness
- Weakness and/or numbness
Although the bleeding resulting from a rupture probably lasts only seconds, there is much that can happen as a result.
For instance, the blood can destroy or damage brain cells. It can also cause the arteries to narrow erratically, a condition called A potential delayed complication of a ruptured aneurysm in which blood vessels in the brain spasm, or narrow, limiting blood flow to vital areas of the brain. This can result in stroke or brain tissue damage., reducing blood flow to vital areas of the brain. Vasospasm can cause an ischemic A disability caused by injury to the brain. Most strokes are caused by loss of blood flow to a portion of the brain (called an ischemic stroke or cerebral infarction) or by injury related to bleeding within the brain tissue (an intracerebral hemorrhage) or into the space around the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage). (also called a cerebral A region of the brain which has died due to lack of blood flow (aka ischemia). This is the most common cause of stroke.) if the arteries narrow to the extent that not enough blood gets to the brain tissue.
If there is a lot of blood in the spinal fluid, it can slow or block the spinal fluid’s normal movement. This may lead to the buildup of fluid in the cavities of the brain, causing pressure on brain tissue — a condition called A condition in which too much fluid builds up within the fluid-filled spaces inside the brain (ventricles), putting pressure on the brain tissue. This may occur after aneurysm rupture..
People who have suffered a ruptured aneurysm may have temporary or permanent deficits. These may include vision, speech, and perception problems; memory and thinking problems; fatigue; and/or issues with balance and coordination. You can learn more about these and how to cope with them in our Recovery Guide.