• Emilia Clarke says it's "remarkable" that she can speak after two brain aneurysms.
  • The "Game of Thrones" actor had two brain aneurysms causing 'excruciating' pain and vomiting.
  • Here's what to know about the symptoms and causes of brain aneurysms.

Emilia Clarke says that it's "remarkable" that she is able to speak after she had two brain aneurysms in her early twenties while working on "Game of Thrones," which left parts of her brain "unusable." 

A brain aneurysm is a blood vessel in the brain with a bulge in its wall that can burst, causing bleeding, brain damage and death. Around 30,000 Americans have brain aneurysms that burst each year, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Around half of people with burst brain aneurysms die, the Brain Aneurysm Foundation website says.

Speaking on the BBC show "Sunday Morning" on Sunday, the 35-year-old actor said she had two brain aneurysms in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Her first brain aneurysm happened when she was 24, she wrote in a personal essay for the The New Yorker in 2019.

"It's remarkable that I am able to speak, sometimes articulately, and live my life completely normally with absolutely no repercussions," she told "Sunday Morning."

Brain aneurysms can rupture, causing vomiting, headaches, and seizures

Most brain aneurysms don't cause any symptoms, until they burst or grow so large that they compress a nerve.

If an aneurysm ruptures, a characteristic symptom is a sudden and extremely painful headache. Other symptoms include: vomiting, double vision, light sensitivity, seizures, loss of consciousness, and cardiac arrest.

Symptoms of an aneurysm that's compressing a nerve include: double vision, pain above and behind the eye, paralysis on one side of the face, and a dilated pupil.

When the first aneurysm burst, Clarke was working out and developed an intense headache, she wrote in The New Yorker in 2019. 

Clarke told "Sunday Morning" she experienced the "most excruciating pain" and vomiting because of her aneurysm. 

Clarke was rushed to the hospital for surgery to stop the aneurysm bleeding, she wrote in the essay. The procedure worked, but doctors said she had another smaller aneurysm in her brain. She had the same procedure after the second aneurysm grew bigger and was at risk of bursting, but it failed. Clarke had a "massive" brain bleed, and subsequent brain surgery to remove part of her skull.

A brain aneurysm can happen to anyone at any age, but women are more affected than men

Brain aneurysms can occur to anyone at any age. However, they most commonly occur in people aged between 30 and 60, and tend to affect women more than men.

A family history of brain aneurysms that bursts increases a person's risk of developing one that bleeds when compared to the average person, as well as certain genetic factors, such as disorders that weaken the artery walls. 

Large aneurysms and ones that grow, even if they're small, are most likely to burst. Lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking and untreated high blood pressure both increase the chance of developing an aneurysm, and the risk of it bursting.

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