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Getting pain in head when coughing. What is causing this?

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What does it mean when I cough and at the same time my head starts to hurt but only when I cough... Sometimes the pain is so bad that I can't handle it
Posted Mon, 29 Apr 2013 in Head Injuries
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 25 minutes later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Cough induced headaches are classified as primary or secondary. Primary cough induced headaches are not associated with any abnormalities in the brain wheras secondary headaches are associated with structural or blood vessel problems in the brain.

Unfortunately in 40% of cases there may be a secondary cause for the problem.

In primary cough induced headaches, the problem is self limited and will resolve on its own. The exact reason for these headaches is unknown. Medication is used to treat it, it decreases the pressure in the brain.

Before a person is diagnosed as having primary headaches, secondary causes must be ruled out by imaging tests such as MRI and/or CT scan.
The possible secondary causes are: brain aneurysm, chiari malformation which is a malformation of an aspect of the brain, tumors.

It is likely that your headaches may be primary cough induced and there are no other problems but you need to speak to your doctor for an evaluation which should include an imaging test.

I hope this helps, wish you the best. Feel free to ask any other questions
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