While a brain aneurysm may not cause problems on its own, if it leaks or bursts, the result can be a life-threatening stroke. By knowing the symptoms of an aneurysm, patients can see a doctor before that happens.

As the Mayo Clinic’s website puts it, a brain aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning section in a blood vessel in the brain. It often resembles a berry hanging on a stem. Symptoms of an unruptured aneurysm include pain above and behind one eye, a dilated pupil, double vision, numbness or paralysis on one side of the face, and a drooping eyelid.

When an aneurysm ruptures or begins leaking, the most important symptom is a sudden, extremely painful headache. This requires immediate medical attention. A ruptured aneurysm has other possible symptoms, such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Seizure
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

Factors that raise the risk of an aneurysm include aging, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, drug use, hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure. Genetics can also play a role.

Medical intervention may be able to diagnose an aneurysm, and prevent it from leaking or rupturing. However, if the aneurysm leads to a stroke, the patient can suffer a range of effects, depending on where the aneurysm was located.

Depending on how strong it is, it could cause lifetime disability. Returning to work may not be possible. How would you make ends meet? People with sufficient work history may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits to make up for the lost income.