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Bad cough, sickness, head pain, strains when I cough. What is causing this?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I was sick for about a week with a very bad cough. Now when I cough I have a bad pain on the right side of my head around my temple and above my ear. It hurts when I cough or strain. What could cause this? The pain has been this way for about 5 days and not getting better but the cough is nearly gone.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 18 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

The pain in the head and above the ear on coughing is due to an increase in intra-arterial / intracranial pressure while coughing. This increased intracranial tension produces pressure on the brain which results in pain.

Since your cough has improved now, the pain will also gradually improve with time. To decrease the pain sensations have plenty of fluids orally. A decreased fluid intake will precipitate this pain.

Taking an over the counter mild analgesic like acetaminophen will help in short term relief.

In case the pain is persistent then you need a thorough clinical examination by your physician to rule out other possible causes of such pain like high blood pressure, tension headache, visual disturbances, anxiety, etc.

I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Wish you good health.

Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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