Why Does My Head Hurt When I Cough?

Why does my head hurt when I cough? Coughing can cause a headache in some people, however this is uncommon. This is frequently related to increased pressure in the brain caused by excess pressure in the abdomen. Coughing or maybe another action, including such sneeze or straining, causes a primary cough headache.

:recycle: What Causes Head pain when Coughing?

When you go to the doctor with a chilly, one of the very first things you could say is that “my head hurts when I cough.” To address the reason of your coughing and headaches, your physician will need to figure out what’s causing them. The two forms of cough headaches, as well as the health concerns they may indicate, are as follows:

:candle: Primary Cough Headaches

The most common type of cough headache is primary cough headache, which is usually just transitory and does not create any long-term problems. The tension that accumulates while you cough might cause a headache, whether either have such a cold, are wheezing severe allergies, or are laughing too much. Uncomfortable headaches and aches might result from an increase in head pressure.

Coughing can create sudden pressure in the belly, which can induce a primary cough headache. This may cause a headache by increasing head pressure.

Similar headaches might also be caused by other hobbies. These are some of them:

  • laughing

  • sneezing

  • bowel motions

  • strenuous exercise that puts a pressure on the abdomen

There is no link between a primary cough headache and any type of brain issue or other medical condition.

:candle: Secondary Cough Headaches

Because secondary cough headaches are usually caused by an underlying ailment such as a brain issue, they are less common. A brain tumor, hydrocephalus, or a disorder affecting your cerebrospinal fluid are all possible causes of secondary coughing headaches.

An underlying issue, such as a brain disorder, causes a secondary cough headache.

The most common cause of secondary cough headaches is a disease known as Chiari type I malformation.

‘‘A Chiari deformity is a flaw in the skull’s structure. This indicates that the cerebellum, or bottom section of the brain, passes through the skull base and into the upper vertebral column.’’

Secondary cough headaches can also be caused by:

  • A form of brain tumor known as miscellaneous posterior fossa lesions.

  • A collection of fluid in the brain known as obstructive hydrocephalus.

  • Due to an internal spinal fluid leak, the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure drops suddenly.

:candle: Symptoms of Cough Headaches

:arrow_right: If you have a cold or the flu, you may have headaches, coughing, and sneezing as symptoms. Cough headaches can, however, occur even if there is no cold or allergy present. When you cough, you may have a severe or stabbing pain in your head. While coughing or later, you may have head pain.

:arrow_right: As the pain from coughing passes, many people describe a dull aching. The symptoms of a primary cough headache are similar to those of a secondary cough headache. If you have other symptoms like dizziness, feeling unsteady, or fainting, your doctor can help you figure out if you’re suffering with a secondary cough headache.

:arrow_right: Primary cough headaches are most common in males and those over 40 years old, according to a 2013 review Trusted Source.

:arrow_right: A primary cough headache can indeed be brief, but it can continue up to 30 minutes according to credible sources. A main headache has been observed to linger up to 2 hours in some casesTrusted Source.

Other signs and symptoms of a primary cough headache are:

  • Pain can be felt along both crown of the device, but it is more often on one side.

  • Sharp or stabbing pain is one of the most common types of pain.

  • Pain that appears out of nowhere, either during coughing

  • After the acute pain has subsided, a dull discomfort persists.

:candle: How is primary cough headache diagnosed?

Primary cough headache is diagnosed by your doctor based on your symptoms and the findings of brain scans (either computerized tomography [CT] or magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) that rule out other possible causes of cough headache.

This form of headache is referred to as a subsequent cough headache if the brain scan indicates a reason for the cough headache. Secondary cough headaches are much more dangerous and are caused by things like Chiari malformations in the brain, brain tumors, compromised brain capillaries cerebral aneurysm, and other things.

:candle: Should I be worried if my head hurts when I cough?

Coughing can produce headaches, which aren’t common but can happen. They could indicate a more serious medical issue in some circumstances. That’s why, if you frequently have headaches from coughing, particularly if they last more than two hours or are really unpleasant, you should consult your doctor.

:candle: Can coughing cause brain aneurysm?

Forceful coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose might induce a stroke if you do have hypertension or been identified with an intracranial aneurysms a compromised blood artery in the brain that could explode under pressure. This is due to the fact that such acts may produce a sudden increase in the pressure inside your head.

:recycle: Prevention of Primary Headache

Primary cough headaches can be avoided by doing the following:

To avoid strain while performing a bowel movement, take stool softeners.

  • Having a medical examination to screen for lungs or other respiratory system disorders and receiving treatment if any are discovered.

  • Inquire with your local pharmacist whether any of your present medications have a secondary effect of cough.

  • Avoiding other tasks that require bending and straining, such as weight lifting or other large objects.

:candle: When to see a doctor?

A primary cough headache is harmless and will usually go away on its own. People should see their doctor if they experience any severe or long-lasting symptoms.

People should visit a doctor if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • With a headache, you may experience faintness, dizziness, or a loss of balance.

  • intense discomfort or a terrible headache that comes on suddenly

  • a migraine that lasts more than 2 hours

  • Coughing causes headaches on a regular basis.

  • Fever, chills, or unexpected weight loss are some of symptoms.

  • When shifting stance or location, such as from lying down to standing, the strength of the headache changes.

To determine if a migraine from coughing is caused by a primary or secondary cause, a doctor can do a checkup and any necessary tests.
A treatment plan will be devised once a physician has determined the kind and source of the headache.

:candle: Does Covid make your head hurt when coughing?

Despite the fact that headaches are a lesser-known indication of COVID-19, they are among the first signs of infection and are more common than the ‘typical’ symptoms of cough, fever, and loss in smell anosmia.

:candle: Why does my head hurt when I cough or yell?

Coughing can trigger headaches, which are sometimes referred to as “cough headaches.” Cough headaches are most commonly induced by straining in another way while coughing. When you cough, laugh, weep, wipe your nose, scream, or have a digestion, the straining that triggers these headaches occurs.

:candle: What do brain tumors headaches feel like?

Every patient’s pain is different, but headaches caused by brain tumors are usually continuous and worst at night or early in the morning. They’re frequently described as mild, “pressure-type” headaches, however some people report intense or “stabbing” pain as well.

:recycle: Home Remedies for Cough Headache

Primary cough headaches can be treated at home. The headaches may be reduced or eliminated if the reason of the cough is identified and treated.

Ibuprofen, an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever, may help to ease the pain of a headache.

If coughing is caused by a cold or flu, cold or flu medicines may assist to alleviate coughing and headaches. Clearing the sinuses can also assist to relieve head pressure.

People can try the following home treatments for a cold virus:

  • getting enough sleep

  • using over-the-counter cough medicine

  • consuming warm drinks, such as honey and lemon water

  • consuming plenty of liquids

  • If you are at risk of catching the flu, you should get a flu shot every year.

  • After coughing, wash thoroughly with soap and warm.

Hot drinks, such as lemon and honey, can assist to sooth the throat and make a person more comfy if they are suffering from a cold or flu.

:candle: Medical Treatment of Cough Headache

People may need to contact their doctor if they are unable to treat the source of coughing at home.

A cough caused by a cold or another underlying ailment, such as bronchitis, may be treated with medication prescribed by a doctor.

If someone has the flu, a doctor may recommend antiviral medication.

Other drugs that a doctor may prescribe to alleviate primary cough headaches include:

  • indomethacin and other anti-inflammatory medicines

  • beta-blockers

  • acetazolamide, which helps the body get rid of excess fluid and salt.

  • Ergotamines are used to treat migraine headaches.

  • These drugs can help alleviate the pressure and fluid accumulation in the skull, as well as lessen inflammation and coughing.

  • If someone suffers a secondary cough headache, the underlying cause must be addressed.

:candle: Why do I feel pressure in my head when I bend over?

Headache in the sinuses

Inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis) can induce headaches that worsen when you lean over. There may be pounding pain in your face and head as a result of them. When the inflammation subsides, they normally improve.

:candle: What were your first indications of a brain tumor?


  • Headaches that have started or changed their pattern.

  • Headaches that become more regular and intense with time.

  • Nausea or vomiting for no apparent reason.

  • Blurred vision, double vision, or loss of peripheral vision are all examples of vision issues.

  • Loss of sensation and movement in one arm or leg over time.

  • Balance is a problem.

:candle: How can you diagnose and check a brain tumor at home?

Symptoms and Signs of a Brain Tumor

Headaches that can be strong and get worse with activity or early in the morning.
Seizures. Different forms of seizures can occur in different people. Certain medications can aid in the prevention or control of these conditions.

  • Changes in personality or memory.

  • Vomiting or nausea.

  • Fatigue.

  • Drowsiness.

  • Sleep issues.

  • There are issues with memory.

:writing_hand: Summary

Why does my head hurt when I cough? Coughing causes abdominal pressure, which causes pressure in your head. A headache is caused by the pressure imposed by your abdomen on your head. This is why bending over, laughing, or sneezing might trigger a cough headache.

:o: Frequently Asked Questions

Coughing causes headaches of several type and it is most common among people. That’s why some people don’t take it serious but it may lead to severe causes. They ask many question when it become extreme and those questions are;

:one: When I cough my head hurts on the right side?

Cough migraines are a major symptom brought on by coughing or other exertion. Breathing, wiping your nose, laughing, sobbing, singing, bending over, or performing a bowel movement are all examples of this. Cough headaches are a rare occurrence. Primary cough headaches and secondary cough headaches are the two forms.

:two: Why does the left side of my head hurt when I cough?

Coughing can cause a headache in some people, however this is uncommon. This is frequently related to increased pressure in the brain caused by excess pressure in the abdomen. Coughing or the other action, such as blowing or straining, causes a primary cough headache.

:three: How to relieve head pressure from coughing?

Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers may assist to alleviate headache pain. If coughing is caused by a cold or flu, cold or flu medicines may assist to alleviate coughing and headaches. Clearing the sinuses can also assist to relieve head pressure.

:four: How long do cough headaches last?

It usually lasts a few moments to a few minutes rarely two hours Sharp, stabbing pain is the result. It is common as both sides of the head to be in discomfort. The symptoms of a primary cough headache normally go away on their own. The majority of patients experience a complete recovery from a primary cough headache within four years. There is generally no need at all to address each recurrence of headache discomfort because it goes away fast.

:five: Why head hurts when I cough dehydration?

What causes a headache caused by dehydration? Your brain and other body tissues shrink when you’re dehydrated contract. The brain withdraws from the cranium as it shrinks, putting pressure on neurons and causing discomfort. Dehydration, particularly slight dehydration, can cause a headache.

:six: Why does my head hurt when I laugh or cough?

Cough headaches, both primary and secondary, are thought to be caused by abrupt pressure in the abdomen and chest. This pressure, as well as the resulting headache, can be caused by sneezing or laughing.

:seven: Why sharp pain in head when coughing or sneezing?

Cough migraines are a major symptom brought on by coughing or other exertion. Breathing, wiping your nose, laughing, sobbing, singing, bending over, or having a digestion are all examples of this. Cough headaches are a rare occurrence. Primary cough headaches and secondary cough headaches are the two forms.

:scroll: Conclusion

Why does my head hurt when I cough? Cough headaches occur when you cough too forcefully and your brain hurts for a short period of time. It’s usually harmless and disappears on its own. If you get a moderately severe headache when coughing, see your doctor. Your doctor can assist you in finding efficient pain management techniques. They can also check out any more significant issues that could be producing the headache.

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