There are two main types of haemorrhagic stroke:
This can happen when an artery inside your brain bursts, causing bleeding within your brain.
This is due to bleeding on the surface of your brain. It happens when an artery on the surface of the brain bursts, causing bleeding into the fluid-filled space between the brain and skull.
What causes a haemorrhagic stroke?
- High blood pressure, which is a contributing factor in around half of all strokes.
- Cerebral amyloid angiopathy is a condition where a protein called amyloid builds up inside the blood vessels in the brain. This causes damage and makes your blood vessels more likely to tear. This condition is more common among older people.
- An aneurysm is a weak spot on an artery, where the walls have become thin and weak. This means that they can sometimes burst, especially if you have high blood pressure. Some aneurysms are present from birth, but some things can make you more likely to develop one, including smoking, high blood pressure, and having a family history of aneurysm.
- Anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medication. People taking medication to lower their risk of blood clots have a slightly higher risk of bleeding in the brain. However, the overall risk is very low, and your risk of stroke is carefully monitored when you’re taking blood-thinning medications.
- Illegal drugs, such as cocaine, can irritate blood vessel walls making them weaker and more likely to rupture.
Haemorrhagic stroke treatments
Recovering from a haemorrhagic stroke
It is quite common for people to experience headaches after any type of bleeding in the brain. This may be due to swelling or changes in the levels of cerebrospinal fluid. The pain tends to lessen over time and can usually be controlled by painkillers such as paracetamol. You should not take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibroprofen, after this type of stroke. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine and alcohol can help to reduce these headaches.
If you have another severe headache or a persistent headache, seek medical attention urgently.
Some people report strange sensations in their brain after an SAH, like running water or a tickling feeling on their brain. These are quite common and usually pass in time.
Find out more
- Read our guide Bleeding in the brain: haemorrhagic stroke to understand more about the causes of haemorrhagic stroke and how it is treated.
- Find out more about haemorrhagic strokes on My Stroke Guide. As well as free access to trusted advice, information and support 24/7, My Stroke Guide connects you to our online community, to find out how others manage their recovery.