ZocdocAnswersAre there any symptoms a person would experience before a brain aneurysm?

Question

Are there any symptoms a person would experience before a brain aneurysm?

My cousin passed away from a brain aneurysm several years ago. She was young, 27, and as far as the family knows, there were no prior symptoms. Since that time, I've experienced periodic dizziness, anxiety, brief headaches behind the eye, and heart palpitations. While these could all be anxiety related, I do not want to miss any subtle signs of a brain aneurysm. I am 35 years old and female.

Answer

First of all, I am sorry that your cousin passed away from a brain aneurysm. This must have been very traumatic and unexpected. The vast majority of brain aneurysms are completely without any symptoms. This is the reason why when people die of a brain bleed from an aneurysm, it is almost always unexpected and out of the blue. Most aneurysms have to get very large before they can produce any noticeable symptoms. The symptoms that you are experiencing (heart palpitations, occasional dizziness) sound much more like anxiety to me. However, there is no way to tell for sure until you get evaluated thoroughly by a qualified doctor. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with you primary care physician (family doctor or internal medicine doctor). He or she can take a detailed history of your symptoms, a family history, and past medical history and gauge your risk of having a brain aneurysm. If he or she is at all concerned, then you may need a CT scan of the head with contrast to rule this out. I will say that it would be very unusual for your doctor to come to this conclusion based on the symptoms you are describing, but your doctor knows you best. Good luck.

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