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Brain Hemorrhage Symptoms You Need to Watch Out For

Medically reviewed by Nicole Aliling, MD · Neurology · Centre Médicale Internationale

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Aug 30, 2022

Brain Hemorrhage Symptoms You Need to Watch Out For

A brain hemorrhage is a serious condition that can lead to severe health problems if not treated immediately. This is why it is important to understand brain hemorrhage symptoms, so that you can seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Brain Hemorrhage

Brain hemorrhage symptoms can manifest in different ways. The symptoms usually depend on which parts of the brain are affected, as well as how severe the hemorrhage is.

A brain hemorrhage can occur either within the skull but outside the brain, or within the brain tissue itself.

Hemorrhage within the skull but outside the brain

A hemorrhage within the skull, but outside the brain happens in the meninges, or the membranes in between the brain and the skull. These are composed of three layers, which are the

  • dura
  • arachnoid
  • pia mater

Hemorrhage within the brain tissue

If the bleeding happens within the brain tissue or its ventricles, then these are referred to as intracerebral or intraventricular hemorrhage. These can be more dangerous, because if a part of the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, the brain cells start to die off.

It only takes about three to four minutes of oxygen deprivation for permanent brain damage to happen. So it’s important to seek medical attention if you feel any possible symptoms.

Brain Hemorrhage Symptoms

Severe headache

One of the most common brain hemorrhage symptoms is a severe headache. This usually happens because the blood caused by a hemorrhage increases the pressure inside the person’s brain.

As the pressure builds up, it pushes against the dura, or covering of the brain. Because the dura has pain receptors, the continuous pressure results in a headache.

Most patients who have suffered a brain hemorrhage typically refer to the headache as the worst headache they’ve experienced. These can also come and go, and last for months, or even longer than a year.

Nausea, vomiting

Another possible symptom of a brain hemorrhage is nausea and vomiting. This can sometimes be accompanied by a stiff neck.

Typically, if you experience a severe headache alongside nausea and vomiting, seek medical attention immediately. These are the usual warning signs of a brain bleed, and should never be ignored.

Stiff neck

A stiff neck is another common symptom of a brain hemorrhage. It usually accompanies a severe headache, and it happens because the blood causes irritation in the meninges.

This can also sometimes be accompanied by a sensitivity to light, but this is not always the case.

Loss of balance

If a hemorrhage affects a person’s cerebellum, then a patient can experience loss of balance. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls our motor movements as well as our ability to balance. This usually manifests in difficulty walking, or even suddenly falling down.

What happens is that a hemorrhage can cause the cerebellum to not have enough blood. This lack of blood impairs the cerebellum’s ability to function, and causes people to lose their balance.

Inability to speak

Another symptom of a brain hemorrhage is the inability to speak. This happens when the part of the brain responsible for communication is affected by the hemorrhage.

Patients who have aphasia can’t speak or sometimes write, and they usually find it difficult to understand other people.

In some cases, aphasia can be permanent, even after a patient has recovered from a hemorrhage. Though it usually goes away with time.

brain hemorrhage symptoms

Loss of consciousness

Lastly, people who experience a brain hemorrhage can sometimes lose consciousness. This can happen if the blood flow to the brain is severely decreased.

This can be a dangerous symptom, as not only can people suffer from accidents or injuries, but a lack of blood flow to the brain can result in permanent damage.

Key Takeaways

The most important thing when it comes to brain hemorrhage symptoms is to seek medical attention immediately.

Even if you’re not yet sure about your symptoms, it’s a good idea to get it checked. This way, you can head off any health problems before they develop into something more serious.

Learn more about Stroke and Aneurysm here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Nicole Aliling, MD

Neurology · Centre Médicale Internationale

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Aug 30, 2022

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