Brain hemorrhage is a medical condition that refers to bleeding in the brain and requires immediate attention.
The bony skull surrounds your brain making it a closed compartment. Therefore the bleeding inside the brain cause immediate rise in pressure and results in compression and damage to the brain tissues. Besides, if the compression is severe due to excessive bleeding, it prevents oxygen from reaching brain tissue and causes brain swelling (cerebral edema)
Let’s understand more about the causes, symptoms, and management of the condition.
Some common causes of brain hemorrhage are:
- Extremely high blood pressure
- Head injury
- A balloon like bulge in the brain artery (aneurysm)
- Bleeding disorders
- Blood vessel disorders
- Brain tumor
- Liver diseases
Common hemorrhage symptoms are severe headache, vomiting, loss of consciousness, weakness, numbness, tingling, or paralysis of the arm, leg, or face. Usually, these symptoms affect one side of the body.
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Slurred speech
There are various types of a brain hemorrhage based on the location of bleeding and include:
- Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH): The bleeding is inside the brain. It is usually due to uncontrolled blood pressure.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage: The bleeding is between the brain and a thin arachnoid membranes covering it. It is usually due to trauma or bleeding from the brain aneurysm.
- Subdural hemorrhage: The bleeding is between the internal layer of the dura (membrane covering the brain) and above the brain. It occure due to trauma or in old age without any significant trauma.
- Epidural hemorrhage: The bleeding is present between the brain and the skull. This is generally because of trauma and can be associated with a skull fracture.
The treatment depends on the type and severity of the stroke. The early treatment involves stabilizing breathing and blood pressure. Once stabilized, the doctor will decide whether surgery is required or it can be managed with medicines. It all depends on the underlying cause of the bleeding.
The doctor will carry out several tests to understand the location or extent of bleeding, including a CT scan, MRI, eye examinationetc.
Various medicines reduce swelling of the area surrounding the hemorrhage, keep blood pressure under normal levels, and prevent seizures. If the patient is conscious, pain medicines may also be included.
If an aneurysm is found to the cause then it can be treated with Endovascular techniques like Coiling, Flow Diverters etc without opening the skull.
One can not completely avoid the chances of having a brain hemorrhage. Some lifestyle modifications however allow you to reduce that risk, including:
- Treating underlying health conditions such as high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and hypertension.
- Being regular with your hypertension medications.
- Not taking aspirin or other blood thinners without doctors advise.
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet
- Being active and exercising regularly
- Quit smoking
- Avoiding excess consumption of alcohol