Symptoms of Brain Hemorrhage
Bleeding Into The Brain
A brain hemorrhage or bleeding within the brain is a very serious, life-threatening event. Fortunately, spontaneous brain hemorrhage is relatively rare but it does occur. Therefore knowing the symptoms of brain hemorrhage can help you recognize the event and to seek prompt medical attention.
When the brain bleeds it is referred to as an intracerebral hemorrhage or brain hemorrhage. Just like a broken blood vessel in your arm or leg causes pain, a broken blood vessel in the brain hurts as well. Thus the first major symptom of brain hemorrhage is a severe headache.
Many people describe the pain of a brain hemorrhage as the worst headache of their life and that it comes on very suddenly. The pain of a brain hemorrhage headache can be so severe that people may be awakened from sleep because of it. In general, patients have reported that the headache associated with a brain hemorrhage is worse when they lie flat or when they change position.
The headache from brain hemorrhage may seem to get worse with coughing, straining, or bending, which makes sense, since these actions build up pressure in your chest and send increased pressure to the brain.
Pressure From Within
Since a brain hemorrhage causes blood to leak into the brain (out of blood vessels), the pressure inside of the head builds. The skull is excellent for protecting the brain from outside trauma, but when the skull starts to fill with blood, the increased pressure leaves little room for the brain itself.
This squeezing stimulates certain areas in the brain that cause nausea. Another common symptom of brain hemorrhage is vomiting. Nausea can be so intense that it stimulates vomiting—or vomiting is stimulated directly by the increased pressure within the brain.
As the blood escapes the blood vessel and comes in direct contact with the brain tissue it causes another common symptom of brain hemorrhage: seizure. Brain tissue needs oxygen and nutrients to survive and it gets this from blood as it passes through tiny blood vessels in the brain.
If blood comes in direct contact with brain tissue, it is very irritating to the tissue and causes nerve cells to fire chaotically. This chaotic firing of nerve cells leads to uncontrolled body movements, indicative of a seizure.
Increased pressure within the skull can cause various other symptoms of brain hemorrhage. People may appear usually sleepy, have trouble focusing or paying attention or lose consciousness entirely. The dreaded symptom of brain hemorrhage is what doctors call a “blown pupil.” A blown pupil describes a pupil in one eye that is excessively dilated and does not constrict when light is shined into either eye.
This symptom of brain hemorrhage is very serious and usually means a significant amount of pressure has built up within the skull. Emergency neurosurgery is immediately indicated for anyone with a blown pupil and, if it occurs, this symptom of brain hemorrhage has very poor outcomes.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of brain hemorrhage, it is a medical emergency and you should seek professional medical help immediately.