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Brain Hemorrhage Symptoms

What is a brain hemorrhage?

A brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke. It's caused by an artery in the brain bursting and causing localized bleeding in the surrounding tissues. This bleeding kills brain cells.

What are the Symptoms of a Brain Hemorrhage?

A brain hemorrhage is characterized by bleeding in or around the brain. This condition is typically labeled according to where it occurs in the brain. Generally speaking, bleeding inside the skull is referred to as an intracranial hemorrhage. Bleeding inside the brain itself is classified as intracerebral hemorrhage. Bleeding can also occur between the covering of the brain and the brain tissue (subarachnoid hemorrhage). If a blood clot develops between the skull and the brain, it is considered to be either a subdural or epidural hematoma, depending on whether it is below or above the covering of the brain.

Although headaches are often associated with brain bleeds, they are not always present. In most cases, brain hemorrhage symptoms depend on the specific part of the brain that is involved. If the bleeding occurs in the region of the brain that controls vision, there may be problems seeing. Problems with balance and/or coordination, weakness on 1 side, numbness or seizures may also occur. The speech center is located on the left side of the brain, and bleeding in this area may cause speech problems. If the bleeding is in the lower brain, where the body’s autonomic processes are controlled, the patient may become unresponsive or lapse into a coma. In some patients, symptoms of brain hemorrhage may appear suddenly and worsen rapidly. In others, symptoms may appear slowly over many hours or even days.

How is Brain Hemorrhage Treated?

Once the patient sees a doctor, they can determine which region of the brain has been affected based on the presentation of symptoms. A number of imaging tests may be performed, such as a computerized tomography (CT scan), which can reveal internal bleeding, or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test. A neurological exam or eye exam, which can detect optic nerve swelling, may also be ordered. In most cases, a spinal tap is not performed, as it may be unnecessarily dangerous and make things worse.

Treatment for brain bleeds depends on the location, cause, and extent of the hemorrhage. Surgical intervention may be required to reduce swelling and prevent bleeding. Prescription medications including painkillers, corticosteroids and diuretics may also be administered to the patient.

Can I Recover from a Brain Hemorrhage?

How well a patient recovers from a brain hemorrhage depends on the size of the hemorrhage and amount of swelling. Some patients recover completely while others sustain lifelong disabilities. Possible complications of a Xarelto brain hemorrhage may include:

  • Stroke
  • Loss of brain function
  • Side effects from medications/treatments
  • Death

Can Brain Hemorrhages be Prevented?

Due to the fact the most brain hemorrhages are linked to specific risk factors, you can minimize your risk by:

Treating high blood pressure (hypertension) – Research has shown that up to 80% of cerebral hemorrhage patients have a history of high blood pressure. The single most important thing you can do is control hypertension is maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

  • Don’t smoke cigarettes
  • Don’t use drugs – Cocaine and other stimulants can increase the risk of brain bleeds.
  • Drive carefully and always wear your seat belt.
  • If you ride a motorcycle, always wear a helmet.
  • Investigate corrective surgery. If you suffer from abnormalities such as aneurysms, surgery may help prevent future hemorrhages.

Be careful with Xarelto. If you take this medication, follow up regularly with your doctor to make sure your blood levels are in the appropriate range.