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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Common Symptoms of an Arachnoid Cyst

There are an array of symptoms that you can have when you have an arachnoid cyst. It can depend where the cyst is located on the brain, as to what type of symptoms you have. However, there are some common symptoms; common to most cysts and they are:

  1. Headaches
  2. Dizziness
  3. Ataxia - lack of muscle control
  4. Increased Cranial Pressure- pressure in the head
  5. Hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
  6. Seizures

There are a number of other symptoms that can occur, and these listed symptoms can vary in degree of severity, depending on how large the cyst is and exactly where it is on the brain.

You may experience:

  1. Confusion
  2. Sleep apnea
  3. Breathing difficulties
  4. Problems with speech
  5. Nausea/vomiting
  6. Papilladema-swelling of the optic nerve due to pressure
  7. Trouble swallowing

You may have been diagnosed with the cyst at one point, and not have any symptoms. But if the cyst grows and begins to put pressure on different areas of the brain, you may begin to notice odd symptoms coming on. Typically, the symptoms creep up on you. You may not realize, at first, that anything is really wrong. But as the cyst grows and begins to put more pressure on the different organs of the brain, the symptoms will increase.

If you start to notice odd things happening - neurological symptoms, start writing them down. Now would be the time to start your journal and journal often. Keep records of all your symptoms, when you felt them, how frequent you feel them, and what you were doing when you felt it. Did you have trouble swallowing while eating? Or just sitting there doing nothing but swallowing saliva? Did you lose your balance just standing there? Or while doing an activity that might be common to cause loss of balance. Chart everything, and watch the pattern develop. This will not only be helpful for you, but your doctor.

Another reason you should keep record and write things down in a timely fashion, is because many people with arachnoid cysts, begin to start to forget things. Your short term memory can be affected. You may also forget how powerful the symptom was at the time, so you will want to chart it while everything about it is fresh in your mind.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story! It is really helpful to me right now because I was diagnosed with a brain cyst after the doctor reviewed my MRI just last week. It looks like it is an arachnoid cyst on the posterior fossa. I kinda hope it is because it could explain why I am having so many weird symptoms and the one's listed above. Wish me luck for some answers as I will go to the doctor's next Tuesday!

  2. Thank You Maria.....You give me hope, just as I was about to give in.....keep writing..I'll be here reading.......

  3. My name is robin im 41yrs old grandma of 5 girls. I first was diagnosed having a blood clot in my left arm they put me on warfin i started getting migranes and now have a prostier fossa aracnoid cyst to the right of the midline needless to say im very scared i have along with migranes muscle weakness. Have a apt with neoroligst this week keep me n your prayers please. Thank u for all ur support n prayers