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A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16310
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
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I have been having headaches lately sometimes followed by

Resolved Question:

I have been having headaches lately sometimes followed by severe nose bleeds - is this a sign of an aneurism?>
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 10 years ago.


Nose bleeds aren't a symptom of an aneurysm. Some tiny minority of people with aneurysms will experience a sentinel headache as a sign that the aneurysm is leaking prior to its bursting, but most people have no symptoms until it ruptures. Here is some more information about brain aneurysms:

You should definitely have your headaches and nosebleeds evaluated by a clinician to make sure they are not the result of some serious pathology.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I had a pain one morning a few days back, where the top right side of my head, approx. 5-6 inches above my eyebrow had a dull ache, enough to annoy and be considered a head ache. I blew my nose, once I blew my nose, the pain I was feeling went away and I immediately had a gush of blood come out of the right nostrel, where it bled for approx. 15 minutes, on and off with pain, but mostly relived the pain I was experiencing prior to the nosebleed. I still have the dull pain in that eact same area, also so minor pain in my right nostrel. It has been about a week since this happened. Do you think this is a sign of an aneurysm about to happen or possibly sinus related? I was going to try to see my Dr. this week but did not know if I should rush this.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
How long can the sentinel headache last prior to bursting?
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 10 years ago.

Hi again,

There is no time limit for a sentinel headache. They can occur off and on for months before the aneurysm bursts. What you are experiencing is most likely a sinus headache. A sentinel headache is "the worst headache you've ever had" not one that is mildly annoying.

To help with the nosebleeds until you see your doctor later this week, you can use saline nasal sprays. You can buy these at the pharmacy or make your own at home with 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 8 ounces warm water. Put it in any old spray bottle that you've cleaned thoroughy and spray several times a day. A humidifier, especially in your bedroom, can also help prevent irritated nasal passages.

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