Hemorrhage - subarachnoid
The main symptom is a severe headache that starts suddenly and is often worse near the back of the head. Patients often describe it as the "worst headache ever" and unlike any other type of headache pain. The headache may start after a popping or snapping feeling in the head.
- Sudden or
decreased consciousnessand alertness
- Difficulty or
loss of movementor feeling
- Mood and personality changes, including
confusionand irritability Muscle aches(especially neck painand shoulder pain)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Photophobia (light bothers or hurts the eyes)
- Stiff neck
Vision problems, including double vision, blind spots, or temporary vision loss in one eye
Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:
Eyelid drooping Eyes, pupils different size
- Sudden stiffening of back and neck, with arching of the back (
Opisthotonos; not very common)
Signs and tests
A physical exam may show a stiff neck due to irritation by blood of the meninges, the tissues that cover the brain. Except those in a deep coma, persons with a subarachnoid hemorrhage may resist neck movement.
A neurological exam may show signs of decreased nerve and brain function (focal
An eye exam will be performed. Decreased eye movements can be a sign of damage to the cranial nerves. In milder cases, no problems may be seen on an eye exam.
If your doctor thinks you may have a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a
CT scan angiography (using contrast dye) may be done to look for evidence of and aneurism.
Transcranial doppler ultrasound is used to look at blood flow in the arteries of the brain that run inside the skull. The ultrasound beam is directed through the skull. It can also detect blood vessel spasms and may be used to guide treatment.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and