Signs & Symptoms of Bleeding on the Brain

Updated April 17, 2017

Bleeding in the brain (intracerebral haemorrhage) is a serious medical condition. According to the National Library of Medicine, bleeding in the brain can be caused by head trauma, high blood pressure, protein deposits and blood vessel abnormalities. The symptoms of this condition will vary due to the location of the bleed; however, being knowledgeable about the possible signs and symptoms can mean the difference between life and death.

Abnormal Sense of Taste

Some patients with bleeding in the brain may have an abnormal sense of taste. This is caused after bleeding develops in the cerebrum, which is the area of the brain that controls sense of taste. It can result in a slight change in the taste pattern of the individual, or in a small amount of cases, it can result in a total loss of taste. However, a total loss of taste is rare.

Speech and Comprehension

Difficulty speaking can also be a sign of bleeding in the brain. Damage or bleeding in any part of the cortical areas of the brain can lead to speech problems. A person who develops a bleed in one of these cortical areas may have problems forming words or understanding speech itself. The individual may slur words, or his speech may be so defective that he is difficult to understand. Problems with speech are a key sign that something is wrong, and medical help should be sought immediately.


According to the National Library of Medicine, bleeding in the brain can cause a headache to occur when a person wakes up or when she is lying flat. The headache may also become worse with movement or changing position. A quick onset of a severe headache is a key sign of bleeding in the brain. If the bleeding is due to a head injury, the person will develop a headache soon after the injury. As the blood accumulates between the brain and the skull, it causes pressure in the brain. The more time that medical help is delayed, the more severe the condition becomes. Ultimately, a delay in treatment can mean severe injury or even death.

Loss of Balance/Coordination

Bleeding in the brain can also cause a loss of balance and coordination. The cerebellum, which is located in the back of the brain, is the part that controls balance and coordination. The National Library of Medicine reports that a person may develop difficulty moving a limb or he may not be able to move parts of his body at all. He may suffer from hand tremors and loss of fine motor skills. HIs whole body may become increasingly weakened. This can come on gradually over time or may occur suddenly.

Vision Changes

Vision changes are another sign that there may be bleeding in the brain. Some people will have a gradual decline in their vision if the bleeding is slow. They may even think they need glasses or need an adjustment in their prescription glasses. Some people will have dizziness or vertigo along with these vision changes. The website for reports that eyelids may start drooping, pupils may become different sizes and there may even be uncontrollable eye movements. Many people will mistakenly go to their ophthalmologist believing they need a checkup when there is something far more serious going on.

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About the Author

Kristie Jernigan is a health writer with over 17 years of experience as a medical social worker. She has worked mainly with the elderly population and with children. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and early childhood from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in health care administration and gerontology from the University of Phoenix.