Your brain must have a constant flow of blood to perform its functions and stay alive, but problems can arise when blood is in the wrong areas of the brain. The symptoms to know if you have blood in your brain can vary. It can depend on the type of brain bleeding. Brain aneurysm, hemorrhage, and hematoma are some of the most common forms of brain bleeding.
A weak portion of a vein or artery in the brain can develop a balloon-like bulge that resembles a berry. The most common type of ruptured brain aneurysm is a subarachnoid hemorrhage, located between the tissues surrounding the brain and the brain itself.
Many people have no idea that they have an aneurysm until it bursts, causing a hemorrhagic stroke. Until it bursts, a small aneurysm does not give any indication of its presence. Thankfully, most small aneurysms never rupture or create any other consequences
If an aneurysm grows to a large size, it can push on nerves and brain tissue, causing signs like:
- Numbness on the right or left side of the face
- Pain around one eye – usually behind and above the affected eye
- One pupil might be dilated while the other pupil is not
- Vision changes, including seeing double
It is vital that the person receives emergency medical treatment before the aneurysm bursts.
The symptoms to know if you have blood in your brain from a ruptured brain aneurysm include:
- An extremely painful headache that starts abruptly
- Seizure or loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Visual disturbances, like double or blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
- Stiffness in the neck
Sometimes a person will experience a sudden, severe headache when the aneurysm starts to leak before it ruptures. If not treated immediately, the aneurysm can rupture and cause a full-blown stroke or death.
The brain can hemorrhage when a vein or artery in the brain leaks or bursts. There are three main types of brain hemorrhage: subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracranial hematoma, and cerebral hemorrhage.
As mentioned, a ruptured aneurysm in the subarachnoid space (the area between the brain and the thin membrane that surrounds it) can cause a subarachnoid hemorrhage. These aneurysms are the leading cause of subarachnoid hemorrhages.
Other causes of subarachnoid hemorrhages include:
- Trauma: A violent blow to the head that bursts blood vessels in the subarachnoid region
- Arteriovenous malformation: When a person’s blood vessels grow abnormally into a tangled knot with thin walls
A subarachnoid hemorrhage is a medical emergency, like all bleeding in the brain. Without rapid treatment, the patient can sustain irreversible damage to brain tissue or can die.
Symptoms of subarachnoid hemorrhage are the same as for other types of bleeding in the brain. The patient can experience a sudden, severe headache with nausea and vomiting, perhaps even losing consciousness for a short time.
Because the signs of brain bleeding are so similar, your doctor will have to order testing to diagnose the exact cause and location of your brain bleed. The most common tests used to know if you have blood in your brain are:
- Cerebral angiography: Your doctor will open an artery in your leg and feed a catheter through your leg and into your brain. He will then inject dye into your brain’s blood vessels so that he can examine them through x-ray imaging. Cerebral angiography tends to provide more detailed information about the veins and arteries in the brain than a CT scan or MRI.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan: Depending on the circumstances, your doctor might order this type of imaging study. If the physician injects a contrast dye, the detail from the study can improve. When the doctor uses dye, the test is a CT angiogram.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI can also help your doctor find the brain bleed. The test is an MR angiogram if the doctor uses dye to get more detail about the veins and arteries in the brain.
Because brain bleeds are medical emergencies, your doctor might select the type of imaging study that can yield the quickest results and information.
Blood can pool in the brain or under the skull. This situation is an intracranial hematoma. A hematoma can develop after a blood vessel in the brain bursts or when someone experiences trauma to the head. Without immediate removal of the hematoma, the patient could die. The treatment is usually surgical.
A hematoma might show symptoms right after a blow to the head, but sometimes a person does not notice any changes for weeks or months. Hematoma presses on brain tissue, so eventually, the patient can experience the typical signs of bleeding on the brain, including the extremely severe headache, vomiting, and loss of consciousness.
A cerebral hemorrhage, also called an intracerebral hemorrhage, is bleeding within or around the brain. This type of brain bleed can include hematomas, ruptured or leaking blood vessel malformations, burst or leaking aneurysms, and other types of abnormal bleeding. All of these situations are medical emergencies.
Call Pintas & Mullins Today for a Free Consultation
At Pintas & Mullins, we take pride in delivering hands-on, personal attention to our clients. We handle severe injury cases, like brain bleeds. Call us today at 866-513-0846 to get started. The initial consultation is free, and there is no obligation.