Skip to main content
Diagnosis

A brain aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel in your brain. It can be very serious if it bursts.

Symptoms of a brain aneurysm can include headaches or changes in your vision. If it bursts, it can cause a sudden and very severe headache.

Brain aneurysms are usually treated with surgery if they have burst or there's a risk they will burst.

It's not clear what causes brain aneurysms. You're more likely to get them if you smoke, have high blood pressure or have family members with them.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of a brain aneurysm can include headaches or changes in your vision. If it bursts, it can cause a sudden and very severe headache.

Symptoms of an unruptured 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:

You should see a GP as soon as possible if you experience symptoms of an unruptured brain aneurysm.

Although most aneurysms will not rupture, it's important to get it checked in case treatment is necessary.

Read more on the NHS website.

Brain aneurysms are usually treated with surgery if they have burst or there's a risk they will burst.

Medical treatments

If a brain aneurysm is detected before it ruptures, treatment may be recommended to prevent it rupturing in future.

Most aneurysms do not rupture, so treatment is only carried out if the risk of a rupture is particularly high.

Factors that affect whether treatment is recommended include your age, the size and position of the aneurysm, your family medical history, and any other health conditions you have.

If treatment is recommended, this usually involves either filling the aneurysm with tiny metal coils or an open operation to seal it shut with a tiny metal clip.

If your risk of a rupture is low, you'll have regular check-ups to monitor your aneurysm.

You may also be given medicine to reduce your blood pressure and advice about ways you can reduce your chances of a rupture, such as stopping smoking if you smoke.

The same techniques used to prevent ruptures are also used to treat brain aneurysms that have already ruptured.

Read more on the NHS website.

It's not clear what causes brain aneurysms. You're more likely to get them if you smoke, have high blood pressure or have family members with them.

Read more on the NHS website.