Causes of Cough-Induced Headaches

Cough-induced headaches can be divided into two types: primary and secondary, The German Association for Headaches and Migraines explains.

The German Association clarifies that primary cough-induced headaches are often harmless and occur due to pressure on the head during coughing, as well as in other situations like sneezing, nose cleaning, bending, laughing, crying, singing, and straining during bowel movements.

This type of headache usually lasts from 1 to 30 minutes and typically affects the front and sides of the head.

Increased pressure in the brain during coughing is often attributed to certain changes, such as an increase in the volume of cerebrospinal fluid.

Serious Illness

The association further adds that secondary cough-induced headaches result from a serious condition in the brain or head region, such as abnormalities in the posterior cranial fossa, anomalies at the junction between the head and neck (like flattening of the skull base), bleeding between the brain’s meninges, and swelling of cerebral blood vessels.

Therefore, it is advisable to consult a doctor if cough-induced headaches are accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and noise. These conditions can be diagnosed through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head.

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