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Pain In The Head When Coughing

If you feel pain in the head when coughing and aren’t sure what the cause is or how to treat it, you need to read this article. During the flu season, you may be anticipating sniffles and coughs. However, you may also experience headaches when you cough. So, what causes it?

Coughing may cause head pain if you have any allergies. While coughing, you may experience pressure in the abdomen, and your head may start hurting. Other than this, if you experience pain while coughing, there might be an underlying condition.

What Causes Pain in the Head When Coughing?

The reasons for coughing causing pain in the head are below.

1. Excessive Pressure

Occasionally, coughing can cause pressure to build up in your abdomen, resulting in headaches. This type of head pain is known as a primary cough headache. 

Most people suffer from cough headaches as a result of a chest cold. Most people do not find these headaches very troubling, and they usually go away with time. 

If you cough due to a cold or allergies, the pressure you build up during coughing can cause headaches. Uncomfortable headaches and pains are typical when pressure increases on the head. 

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Approximately 1 percent of all people suffer from a primary cough headache at some point. Men and women can both suffer from primary cough headaches, although men are more likely to suffer. Usually, primary cough headaches occur in older adults.

2. An Underlying Condition

Coughing can also be painful if you have an underlying condition like a brain disorder. Such coughing headaches are called secondary coughing headaches. 

Secondary cough headaches usually result from a Chiari malformation, which is more common than other causes of headaches. Chiari malformations are structural abnormalities of the skull. 

In other words, the inferior brain tissue descends into the upper spinal canal at the skull base. A secondary cough headache may also result from other activities such as heavy lifting. 

Secondary cough headaches can indicate a brain disorder when diagnosed by a doctor examining the brain.

How to Cure Pain in the Head When Coughing?

From the comfort of your own home, you can cope with primary cough headaches. Medications that reduce specific cold or flu symptoms can help relieve coughing pain caused by colds or flu. 

If you cough because of allergies, allergy medications may help relieve your cough. You can reduce the pressure on your head and get rid of allergies by clearing your sinuses, which will relieve headaches. 

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To speed up your body’s healing process, ensure you get plenty of sleep. Sleep provides your body with the chance to build a strong immune system. 

Keeping hydrated is also essential, including drinking warm beverages to soothe such conditions. When you continue to cough and experience head pain, you should visit a doctor so they can provide you with better treatment. 

Some medications can reduce coughing and the pressure that accompanies it. When you cough during specific seasons, such as allergy seasons, you may also experience headaches. Such seasonal coughs and headaches are temporary and can go away with time.


It is unusual to experience a primary cough headache. Although it may not be possible to prevent it directly, you may be able to avoid the events that lead to them by taking a few steps. 

For example, if you get cough headaches because you sneeze, make sure your home is neat and don’t expose yourself to irritants, such as pet dander. 

In addition, you can avoid drugs that tend to cause coughing. It is essential to drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fibre to promote easier and pain-free bowel movements resulting in no coughing.

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