Head Hurt When I Cough: Primary and Secondary Headache

head hurt when i coughWhy Does My Head Hurt When I Cough?

Have you ever had a headache after coughing? If yes, hear me out! It is quite natural or normal to have. Sometimes, coughing or sneezing can trigger a headache, so there is nothing to worry about. All you need to do is avoid spreading it from severity.

Headache vanishes on its own in most cases, yet it may turn up to its more severe condition, causing a panic. It is a common situation many people deal with from time to time.

The better idea to make you encounter this situation is to keep learning about the types of headaches. Moreover, getting an idea of coping with it helps avoid it. In this article, we will cover head hurt when I cough and read the front and back head pain.


Head Hurt When I CoughCauses To Spark Cough-Headache

When you sneeze, huge pressure from the belly & the chest puts a massive effect on the head. Now, most cases that cause headaches are as follows:

  1. When you sneeze
  2.  And when you laugh a lot
  3. When you bend over
  4. When you have some worry about anything

Coughing may tend to minimize the chances of getting a headache. But, intense coughing makes you more disturbed by having a severe headache. Forceful coughing increases the risk of getting worse. My head hurt when I cough.

There are two types of headaches; both of these categories may occur because of pressure applied to the headache. The back of your head hurts when you encounter this condition. The doctor classifies your headache in which type, i.e., primary or secondary headaches.


Primary Headache

It affects a relatively less population of the world, i.e., 1%

It is a very rare type, so it’s not found often. People aged about 40 years can have this type of headache usually. It causes pain in the front of the head or back. Several chances are there to trigger headaches in both parts of the head.

A cough headache doesn’t cause one-sided or unilateral side effects on the head.

There are equal chances of getting affected with primary headaches in men and women.



There can be a couple of symptoms that represent primary headache, such as follows:

  • Period of pain. Pain from several seconds to several minutes
  • Stabbing pain. Irritation instantly produces stabbing pain.
  • It can be long-lasting, affecting your behaviour to behave rudely and sanely.
  • Pain starts at the same time or after the coughing.

However, the causes of primary headaches are still unknown, as there are no sufficient arguments and evidence to answer this question. Hopefully, you’ll have causes of primary headache until researchers reach a specific reason behind it.


Head Hurt When I CoughSecondary Headache

As per the doctor’s diagnosis, you can have a secondary headache. Unlike primary headaches, their symptoms can be some extra along with primary ones.

Chiary type 1 malformation is the most common cause of secondary cough headache.

The lower part of the brain descends on the upper part of the spinal cord so that Chiary malformation can cause defects in the skull-structure.

Excessive fluid build-up can influence cough headaches during or after the coughing, i.e., obstructive hydrocephalus.

Internal leakage of spinal fluid can fetch you pressure on your brain, producing a secondary headache.

If you have a brain tumour, there are possible chances of having a secondary headache.

Many other conditions lead to secondary headaches, underlying the main causes of secondary headaches. E.g., weightlifting, variations in body posture, and laughing loudly.



  • High pain. There is severe pain that starts at the beginning, leading to a defect in the structure of the skull.
  • You might be feeling dizzy while doing routine work; somehow, you feel your head heavy.
  • Imbalance in the body. You might fail in maintaining the balance within your body, e.g., walking stumbling.
  • Stabbing pain. After the headache’s initiation due to coughing, you might wonder where it has its source. Yeah, it is from the cough headache.
  • Changing positions of headache. Changing your positions gets you various disorders, including headaches, the most familiar face.
  • Disorder in behaviour. There may be bad temperament resulting in behaviour changes.
  • Blurry vision. Short-sightedness or long-sightedness represents having a secondary headache.
  • Secondary headaches can have other reasons that can initiate them besides coughing and sneezing.


Home Remedies Head Hurt When I Cough

Head Hurt When I CoughGetting involved with head hurt when the cough is common, but if specific measures should be taken, a reduction in headache occurs. The more you undertake home remedies, the more chances of avoiding them.

Avoiding the factors that enhance the chances of getting a headache can help you eliminate it beforehand.

Different treatments to reduce head hurt when I cough. People are trying different home remedies to reduce head hurt.

If you face cough due to cold and flu, then dealing with home remedies for flu might help to decrease the possibilities of getting a headache as follows:

  • Using warm liquids such as water, honey, and milk can assist you in encountering headaches.
  • It would help if you used plenty of water to improve the digestive system.
  • Taking rest should be helpful to avoid it.
  • Cleaning your hands all the time and cleaning with good soap while coughing are the best ones to help you out.
  • Over-the-counter pain medication helps you relieve the headache occurring due to coughing or sneezing.
  • Hot beverages help you keep your throat set and well-functioning in case of cold or flu.
  • Get adequate sleep to improve your body functions.

If you’re practising these home remedies, chances are there to improve your immunity level.

Avoid going to crowd places, e.g., shopping malls, markets, and functions.

P.S. In this corona crisis, you may follow social distancing and washing your hands most of the time. Wearing masks may keep you stay healthy and comfortable.

Breathing in steam can clean your breathing vessels to keep the flow rate moderate, avoiding the resistance.

Once the primary headache is established, it is hard to treat home with home remedies. On the contrary, we can treat secondary headaches at home in most cases.

But, there’s quite a need to address the causes due to which you have to have headaches, i.e., primary or secondary.


Medical Treatments

Head Hurt When I CoughPrimary Cough Headaches

  • We may follow the various treatments to overcome primary headaches.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs. Usage of anti-inflammatory drugs gets you a reduction in inflammation and minimizes the possibility of encountering coughing.
  • Blood-pressure maintenance. Blood pressure medication helps you to reduce the risk factors of blood-flow variations.
  • Brain-vessels. Relaxation of the blood vessels in the brain may help you a lot.
  • Using diuretics may get you out of spinal fluid and pressure within the brain. An excessive amount of fluids and salts are thrown out of the body.

Secondary Cough Headache

To cure the secondary cough headache, you may have ‘surgery’ to remove

  • Brain-tumor. You need to remove the brain tumour either by surgery or any other treatment.
  • The normal flow of fluid. Maintaining the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid is the best to keep out of danger.
  • Surgery might help relieve pressure on the skull.
  • Fluid leakage to control fluid leakage, surgery should undertake to patch holes.

There are other multiple treatments to overcome the causes of secondary cough headache, which are as follows:

  1.  Radiation
  2.  Chemotherapy
  3.  Combination of these treatments along with surgery. 

If you have things that cause secondary cough headaches, there’s a dire need to address them accordingly.

When To Visit A Doctor?

My head hurts when I cough. Occasionally, getting a headache is expected, but you must consult a doctor if you notice the following symptoms.

  • Confronting with new cough-headache is a sign of starting headache. You must see a physician in this case.
  • Blurred vision is another clue to getting alert to a cough headache’s severity.
  • Frequent headache. Frequently facing a headache will get you involved with its side effects, so it’s better to develop proper treatment.
  • Experiencing severe pain in the upper or lower part of the brain is a siren of danger.

After a headache diagnosis, whether primary or secondary cough headache, you’ll have to get instant treatment as per doctor recommendations, the best way to consult a doctor is if your head hurts when you cough.


Summary Head Hurt When I Cough

Head Hurt When I CoughFacing head hurt when I cough, sneeze, bending over is not an exceptional case but a usual one. A different way to reduce head hurt is when I cough. People are trying different methods at home.

Coughing headaches can be of two types, i.e., primary cough headaches and secondary cough headaches.

The symptoms represent the headache, whether it is primary or secondary. However, the secondary headache may have other symptoms than those of the primary ones.

Blurry vision, stabbing pain, dizziness, and imbalance in the body are the most common symptoms.

Using sufficient water, taking rest, cleaning your hands, and staying away from crowded places may help you avoid causes of coughing headaches.

Usage of Anti-inflammatory drugs, maintenance of blood pressure, and keeping the brain vessels clean help treat a primary headache.

To have better treatments for secondary cough headaches, you should treat the brain tumour. Moreover, leaking of fluid is to be avoided in various ways. I.e., chemotherapy, surgery, and radiations.

Consulting a doctor would assist in leading a peaceful and healthy life, avoiding head hurt when i cough.


See Also:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: