Head Hurts When I Cough


At times a major bout of coughing can cause a throbbing headache where you feel like someone has hit your head with a hammer. This is a very prevalent condition which differs in intensity depending on the cause.download

If it is only due to the cough, then the headache will not last very long and is not anything to get too worried about. This headache mainly occurs because the cough creates pressure in your head, neck and chest and pushes them. You should worry about a headache after you cough when it persists for longer than required. This could have serious implications and needs immediate medical treatment.


As stated above, when your head pains for some time after a cough it is not so serious, but when it persists for a very long duration you may need to pay a visit to your doctor. These are two different types of headaches that are caused by coughs and can be divided into primary and secondary headaches.

Primary headaches

When you start coughing, the body pushes your neck, head and chest and creates immense pressure which makes you feel like someone is pressing your head hard. You feel a massive pain which then becomes dull after some time and then disappears. These are primary headaches that are caused mainly due to the pressure created by the cough and are not such a serious matter.

Secondary headaches

Headaches can become serious when you get one every time you cough or if it lasts for a long duration after your cough. You may even end up feeling dizzy, blacking out as well as feel nauseous. These are secondary headaches are definitely cause for worry as they are caused by more serious factors like the shape of your skull.


While we have determined that primary headaches are caused due to the pressure in the body when you cough, secondary headaches have much more serious causes. Secondary headaches may be caused due to a distorted skull or a brain tumor. That is why it is necessary to consult a doctor to assess the seriousness of the matter.


Once you and your doctor have assessed the seriousness of your headache, you can take certain precautionary measures to prevent these headaches. These include:

Remedies for primary headaches

Primary headaches are easier to treat as they mainly occur because of the cough and nothing else. You can take certain medications to help lessen the throbbing pain you feel after a cough. Some of these medicines include acetazolamide, indomethacin and propranolol.

But you should take them only after consulting your doctor as each has a different effect and depend on the intensity of the headache.

Remedies for secondary headaches

Since these headaches have much more serious causes that are accentuated by a cough, you need to take the doctor’s help to treat these kinds of headaches. You cannot take any medication and cure this as this deal with shape of your head and brain diseases.

Surgery and intense medical care may be required so it is best you consult your doctor as soon as possible to prevent it from getting more severe.

Home remedies to treat headaches

Generally speaking, most headaches that occur after a cough are not very severe in nature and are mainly just because of the increased pressure in the body. These headaches can be treated with simple home remedies and techniques.

One such home remedy is eating a lot of grapes and garlic as this helps alleviate the throbbing pain that you experience after a cough. You can also mix a bit of grape juice and honey to create a sweet delight that relieves you of your headache.

Sometimes the severity of the cough can affect your headache and you can prevent these headaches by getting rid of your cough. Just gargle with some salt water daily to clear your throat and prevent colds.

You can also prevent coughs by chopping a lemon in half and sprinkle it with black pepper and salt and then suck this lemon.

If it is a very persistent cough and it is bugging you a lot, you can add one spoon of lime juice to boiling water. Squeeze an onion and add the juice to the mixture and add a few drops of honey as well. Drink this thrice a day for instant relief.