Cough Headaches: Why They Happen and How to Deal With Them

Your body is trying to get rid of excess mucus, irritant or a small foreign object in your airways each time you cough. If you cough hard enough, it’s possible for you to experience a headache.

This article will get you acquainted with some of the most important things about cough headaches — headaches that are commonly experienced by those who have coughs.

Make sure that you share this article on your various social media sites afterwards to let everyone you care about know about cough headaches, too.


The common cold, flu a sore throat — all of these conditions can leave you coughing because they can cause irritation of your airways and your body just wants to expel the culprit.

Sometimes, you may fail to get rid of that which is causing the irritation, and this can cause you to cough really hard. There are times that you may experience a headache after it.

In a nutshell, cough headaches happen because pressure inside your head increases each time you cough — the pressure generated compresses the nerves in the head, something that can cause pain.

Doctors say that cough headaches can actually be categorized into two types: primary cough headaches and secondary cough headaches.

Primary Cough Headaches

Simply put, the reason behind primary cough headaches is coughing hard itself and nothing else. They’re the kind that you may experience if you have a cold, flu or sore throat.

A cough headache may be felt right after you cough hard ­— it starts out as a stabbing or sharp type of pain that’s usually felt at the back of the head, but it’s possible for it to be experienced elsewhere in the head, too.

The stabbing or sharp pain does not last long because it is immediately replaced by a dull pain, which can last for several seconds or even a few minutes.

Secondary Cough Headaches

Unlike primary cough headaches, secondary cough headaches do not appear right after you cough. Your head may gradually hurt after coughing really hard.

But other than just a headache, you may also experience a few other unusual symptoms. It’s not unlikely for secondary cough headaches to be accompanied by dizziness and fainting.

Doctors say that secondary cough headaches can be due to some serious medical conditions like an aneurysm or a tumor situated in the brain. Needless to say, the cause needs to be identified and treated.


Clearly, it’s of utmost importance for you to seek medical attention right away if you suspect that what you have are secondary cough headaches and not primary cough headaches.

The treatment for secondary cough headaches will depend on the medical condition that’s behind them. It’s not unlikely for undergoing the knife to be one of the treatments for secondary cough headaches.

On the other hand, dealing with primary cough headaches entails treating the cold, flu or sore throat that’s causing you to cough really hard. There are various pharmaceutical remedies for it.

There are also so many different ways to manage the causes of primary cough headaches at home, ranging from bed rest, plenty of fluids to ginger tea with honey.

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