What recovery can I expect after a brain hemorrhage?

Besides depriving the brain of oxygen and killing brain cells, bleeding inside the brain also prevents nerve cells from communicating with the parts of the body and the functions they control. This results in a loss of memory, speech or movement in the affected area.

Depending on the location of the hemorrhage, the extent of damage and your age and overall health, there can be lasting effects from a brain bleed. These affects can include:

  • Inability to move part of the body (paralysis).
  • Numbness or weakness in part of the body.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Vision loss.
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding spoken or written words.
  • Confusion, memory loss or poor judgment.
  • Personality change and/or emotional problems.
  • Seizures.
  • Headaches.

However, over time and with a lot of effort and determination in rehabilitation (physical, occupational and speech therapy), you can regain some of these lost functions. This is especially true if your general health is otherwise good.

Unfortunately, some patients who remain in a coma, or have been severely paralyzed after an intracranial or cerebral hemorrhage may need permanent, long-term care typically provided in a nursing home. Depending on the type, location and extent of the brain bleed, many patients do not survive the initial bleeding event.

Remember though, if you suspect a brain bleed, the sooner you can get to the emergency room the better your chance of survival. Time between the start of symptoms and start of a bleed and between start of a bleed and confirmation of a bleed are critical time points. The earlier a brain hemorrhage is found, the earlier a treatment decision can be made. Don’t hesitate. Let a healthcare professional determine if you have a brain emergency.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy