Can Migraines Cause Aneurysms?

By Annette GallagherMarch 26, 2020October 4th, 2021No Comments

If you’ve got serious headache pain, it’s worth asking: Is it a migraine or unruptured aneurysm?

Millions of people throughout the U.S. suffer migraines. A migraine is a severe, often chronic headache characterized by visual changes, such as the distinctive “halo,” and other symptoms before headache pain.

What many people don’t know, however, is that several conditions can be mistaken for migraines.

One of the most serious conditions is an aneurysm.


What is an Aneurysm and How Does it Relate to Migraines?

An aneurysm is a localized enlargement of an artery caused by the weakening of the artery’s wall. Arteries are blood vessels that help oxygen-rich blood pass from the heart to the body’s other tissues, and artery health is an important part of overall cardiovascular wellness.

Theoretically, an aneurysm can occur almost anywhere in the body. They are most common in areas like the legs and groin. However, the most serious aneurysms occur in the brain – and they can cause symptoms very similar to migraines.

As a brain aneurysm develops, pressure builds and it gets larger. This can cause a number of effects that can be unpredictable. Changes in thought processes, memory and eyesight can happen. These and other symptoms can come and go.

What’s the most common symptom? By far, it’s intense headaches.

Even if you’ve had chronic headaches in the past, take notice of these changes:

  • Headaches that never included vision changes suddenly include halo or light sensitivity;
  • Your headaches take place often, and their frequency seems to be increasing over time;
  • Your headaches come on suddenly and reach peak intensity in a short time (thunderclap);
  • Symptoms evolve to include new, throbbing pain or pain down the back and limbs.

Any of these symptoms can suggest an aneurysm. It’s important to get treatment as soon as you possibly can. If untreated, an aneurysm can erupt and cause serious brain damage.


See a Headache Specialist in New Jersey, Houston or Miami

If headaches get more serious, it’s worth seeing a doctor. An aneurysm is rare, but there could be other issues in play. With an accurate migraine diagnosis from a team of headache experts in New Jersey, Houston or Miami, it’s possible to treat the underlying problem. Many patients reduce or eliminate their headache pain. Using the latest technology and medical breakthroughs, the staff at the National Headache Institute can get to the root of your headaches. Visit us today.