Head Hurts When I Cough: Causes, Symptoms of Headache, Cough

Head Hurts When I Cough

You sometimes hear people say, “My head hurts when I cough and bend over”. This is a common problem for people who are suffering from dry cough, or coughs that have been around for weeks. Actually coughing continuously creates pressure that pushes the head, neck and chest, and consequently creates a headache and pain in other parts of the body.
Benign cough headache is usually bilateral and of sudden onset.
Many physicians call such type of headache as primary cough headache. Soon after a bout of coughing, the patient may complain of a headache. Headache originating after coughing, laughing or crying lasts for a short duration, for a few minutes or seconds. Your head may throb again for few seconds when there is second bout of cough. Usually, there is a bursting and splitting headache and the person feels as if everything would be pressed out. He may feel as if his head is hit by a hammer from within. The acute phase of the headache is often followed with heaviness and dull pain in the back of the head.
Secondary cough headaches are relatively serious. They usually occur as a result of structural malformation of the skull, or due to protrusion of a certain portion of brain at the base of the skull. Such type of headaches are persistent. You may need medical intervention to correct the structural malformation.

Causes of Cough That Can Lead to Headaches

  • Smoking: People who smoke regularly often suffer from chronic bronchitis. These patients are always at a risk of suffering from headaches.
  • Allergic reactions to smoke, pollen grains, dust and chemical fumes can also cause throat irritation and dry cough.
  • Weather changes, especially dry weather creates dryness in the upper throat area. These may cause cough.
  • Asthma is another well known cause of coughing.
  • Inflammation of the pharynx or larynx can lead to cough and consequently hurt your head. Inflammation is caused due to various reasons like bacterial and viral infection, environmental pollution and overuse of the voice box.
When a person is experiencing dry cough or is finding it difficult expelling the phlegm, a headache becomes quite common.
Sinusitis can also create intracranial pressure for a short duration leading to a headache. Such type of headache is often felt when you bend your head or while you cough.

Common Home Remedies For Cough

When your head hurts as a result of coughing, the main aim is to cure the cough and factors that trigger the cough. Once they are taken care of, the pain in your head will automatically subside.
  • Lemon, salt and black pepper is an age old home remedy for treating cough, especially when it hurts your head. All you need to do is suck a half cut lemon filled with salt and black pepper powder.
  • A mixture of honey and white pepper powder is also considered to be an effective home remedy for treating dry cough. Honey keeps your throat smooth and reduces inflammation. It is also a mild antibacterial agent. White pepper helps suppress the cough.
  • Grapes: Eating grapes for several days will provide relief for people with dry cough.
  • Eating garlic with meals also cures cough.
  • Honey and grape juice mixture taken 2-3 times a day is highly beneficial in providing relief for cough.
  • Salt water gargling may also provide comfort for the swollen larynx.
  • For immediate relief from coughing bouts, boil a cup of water and add one tablespoon of lemon juice and a medium sized onion. Add honey to taste and drink two to three times a day.
Head Hurts When I Cough or Sneeze

When a person has persistent headache that is aggravated with every bout of cough or sneeze, he should consult a physician to rule out any serious ailment. Cough that is left untreated and lasts for weeks can be dangerous and may lead to bronchitis and pneumonia.

One thought on “Head Hurts When I Cough: Causes, Symptoms of Headache, Cough

  • September 2, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I just started having this really bad headache last night and also have a real nasty cough. I thought I could sleep it off but it seems to have gotten a bit worse. I also have had trouble sleeping as I wake up every 30 minutes to an hour. Once I am awake I have trouble falling asleep again. Can anyone please help or give some advice on how to get rid of it?


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