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Why Does Head Hurt When You Cough?

Why Does Head Hurt When You Cough?

A lot of times, and rather terribly, your head may ache when you cough. This article tells you what may cause the condition, and also lists the treatment options carried out to manage the same.
Veethi Telang
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
A rather unusual kind of headaches, and stimulated by various kinds of strains such as blowing nose, crying, laughing, or even bending over, cough headaches, are of two types, viz.: primary cough headache and secondary cough headache. Where primary cough headaches do not harm a person much, and have limited occurrence, secondary cough headaches are rather more serious and complex as they are generated by problems associated with the brain, and might require a surgery for their cure.
What Triggers Headache When You Cough?
Like we discussed above, cough headaches are of two types, primary and secondary. While the actual cause for a primary cough headache has not been deciphered yet, many medicine veterans claim that, due to increased suppression within the head, often referred to as intracranial pressure, primary cough headache makes way for itself. Common strains such as head stands, laughing hard, crying too much, etc., are some primary headache causes as a result of excessive stress and over-exertion.
On the other hand, as is now known that secondary cough headaches are much more serious;distorted shape of the skull, or brain protruding along the base of the skull is one of the chief causes of this constant headache. Many people suffer from pain in the back of their head while coughing, and hence, they need to know that they might be having a defect in the configuration of their cerebellum. This defect comes under the category of Chiari malformations. Lastly, a brain tumor can be a key reason of the fact that your head hurts whenever you cough or sneeze.
Treatment Measures
Note that cough headaches should not be misconstrued as headaches associated with nausea, dizziness, rhinorrhea, or even lacrimation. Primary headaches occur to people over the age of 40. However, secondary headaches can attack people well below the age of 40.
How is Primary Cough Headache Treated
If you're suffering from a primary cough headache, your doctor will, at the most, recommend you daily medication just to prevent hurting, or to reduce the pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as indomethacin can help cure this cough headache. Also, a diuretic called acetazolamide is successful in reducing the fluid within the spinal cord, thereby, reducing the pressure inside the skull which is construed as the key reason for cough headache.
How is Secondary Cough Headache Treated
A secondary cough headache can be a complex one to accomplish as there are not many treatment options in this case. God forbid, if you have a secondary cough headache, your head may require a surgery to treat the problem. Preventive measures, though many, won't help much in treating secondary cough headache. However, they can still lessen the number of headaches and attacks you experience daily. Treating infections associated with lungs can help in reducing the ache occurrences. Moreover, you can go for a flu shot annually, and lessen heavy lifting, both of which can aggravate the hurting. Brain-imaging tests and scans like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computerized Tomography (CT) can help figure out what exactly the problem is.
Hard-hitting as it may sound, even a regular headache can lead to brain-tumor. So, now, whenever your head hurts when you cough, do not fail to visit your doctor, and take appropriate medication for the same. While headaches could just be a minor pain, they could also be life-threatening at the same time. Hence, proper medication is a must for the treatment of cough headaches.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.