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do brain aneurysms cause headaches?

Posted by Heidi


 I had a craniotomy 4 years ago for a left opthalmic brain aneurysm.  The surgeon told me then that my headaches were not a result of the aneurysm, although after the surgery the headaches were much less frequent.  The headaches came back full force and I was sent for a CT Angio and again I have a small aneurysm at the base of my skull, not operable at this point.  Again the surgeon is telling me my headaches are not a result.  But he did say if I get a severe unusual headache, get to the ER asap.  Now I am confused.  Are headaches a result of aneurysms or not?  I asked if he could advise me about what to do about these headaches and he said, I need to see a headache specialist.  What is a headachs specialist.  Would he not be an expert considering he is a neurosurgeon that does brain surgery?

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The Brain Aneurysm Foundation ( has a fact sheet stating the following:

Understanding : Warning Signs/ Symptoms

Unruptured brain aneurysms are typically completely asymptomatic. These aneurysms are typically small in size, usually less than one half inch in diameter. However, large unruptured aneurysms can occasionally press on the brain or the nerves stemming out of the brain and may result in various neurological symptoms. Any individual experiencing some or all of the following symptoms, regardless of age, should undergo immediate and careful evaluation by a physician.

  • Localized Headache
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Pain above and behind eye
  • Weakness and numbness
  • Difficulty speaking

Ruptured brain aneurysms usually result in a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), which is defined as bleeding into the subarachnoid space. When blood escapes into the space around the brain, it can cause sudden symptoms.

Seek Medical Attention Immediately If You Are Experiencing Some Or All Of These Symptoms:

  • Sudden severe headache, the worst headache of your life
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Stiff Neck
  • Sudden blurred or double vision
  • Sudden pain above/behind the eye or difficulty seeing
  • Sudden change in mental status/awareness
  • Sudden trouble walking or dizziness
  • Sudden weakness and numbness
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Seizure
  • drooping eyelids
So, according to this expert source on aneurysms, yes, they cause headaches. See another neurologist.
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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