Symptoms of Intracerebral Hemorrhage

High blood pressure by itself often causes no symptoms, so many people who experience an intracranial hemorrhage experience their first symptoms during the brain attack itself. Symptoms of a stroke caused by intracranial hemorrhage may vary depending the size and location of the rupture, but they generally come on suddenly and quickly and usually include:

  • Severe headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Abnormal sense of taste
  • Change in alertness — ranging from a sense of sleepiness to a loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Difficulty writing or reading
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Weakness or loss of motor skills
  • Facial paralysis
  • Double vision, vision loss, or other vision changes
  • Drooping eyelid, pupils of different sizes, or uncontrolled eye movements

Symptoms of an intracerebral hemorrhage are summarized in the acronym B.E. F.A.S.T.
Balance: a sudden loss of balance 
Eyes: a change in vision in one (or both) of your eyes
Face: numbness in the face, or the inability to smile fully
Arms: an arm or leg hanging motionless
Speech: slurred speech or talking nonsensically
Time: as in, time is brain, so take fast action and call 911; the faster you get treatment the lower the risk of permanent damage

A hemorrhagic stroke is an extreme medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Anyone showing symptoms of a brain bleed should be seen in an emergency room as quickly as possible for diagnosis and treatment.

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Our Care Team

  • Chair and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief
  • Margaret and Robert J. Hariri, MD ’87, PhD ’87 Professor of Neurological Surgery
Phone: 212-746-4684
  • Director of Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventional Neuroradiology
  • Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Fellowship Director, Endovascular Neurosurgery
Phone: 212-746-5149
  • Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery
Phone: 718-670-1837
  • Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery (Brooklyn and Manhattan)
Phone: 212-746-2821 (Manhattan); 718-780-3070 (Brooklyn)
  • Assistant Professor of Radiology in Neurological Surgery (Manhattan and Queens)
Phone: 212-746-2821 (Manhattan) or 718-303-3739 (Queens)
  • Director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist
Phone: 718-780-3070
  • Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurological Surgery
  • Director of Neuropsychology Services
Phone: 212-746-3356

Reviewed by: Philip E. Stieg, PhD, MD
Last reviewed/last updated: May 2024

Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery 525 East 68 Street, Box 99 New York, NY 10065 Phone: 866-426-7787