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Primary Cough Headache Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

What Is Primary Cough Headache ?

To start with cough headache, it is a rare form of headache that occurs due to coughing. Cough headache can also be caused by some other types of straining for example by:

  • Blowing nose.
  • Sneezing.
  • Laughing.
  • Having a bowel movement.
  • Bending over.
  • Singing.

Health care providers have categorized cough headaches into primary and secondary cough headaches. Generally, primary cough headaches arise in limited episodes and improve on its own without the need of medical aid. The condition does not indicate towards a serious concern, and is most of the time, harmless.

What Are The Symptoms Of Primary Cough Headaches ?

Signs of primary cough headache are as follow:

  • Soon after coughing or with some other type of straining, the headache starts to occur.
  • Headache continues for some seconds-minutes. It can also continue for an hour or two.
  • The pain of headache can be stabbing or sharp.
  • Headache can end up with an aching pain that can persist for hours.

Often, headache affects both the right and left side of the head, whilst can be worse in the back of the head.

When Is The Right Time To Seek Medical Assistance ?

Contact a health care provider in case of the following situations:

  • You have developed intense headache soon after coughing.
  • In case the headaches tend to be recurrent.
  • You are also experiencing other distressing signs for example double, blurred or imbalance vision.

What Causes Primary Cough Headache ?

The cause of primary cough headache is yet to be known.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Primary Cough Headaches ?

Several factors known to increase the chances of primary cough headaches are:

  • Age: it commonly affects individuals above the age of 40 years.
  • Sex: As compared to females, males are more likely to develop primary cough headaches.

How Is Primary Cough Headache Diagnosed ?

The health care provider will conduct a thorough physical evaluation and would need details regarding the symptoms. The doctor will ask certain questions related to the signs in order to determine as to when and why the onset of headaches tend to occur. After which, the doctor can suggest imaging tests of the brain, for example CT scan or MRI, that will help him exclude the other potential reasons of headaches.

How Is Primary Cough Headache Treated ?

The following preventive drugs can help with primary cough headaches:

  • Acetazolamide.
  • Propranolol.
  • Indomethacin.

Few other drugs that are prescribed for treating are:

  • Phenelzine.
  • Intravenous dihydroergotamine.
  • Ergonovine.
  • Naproxen.
  • Methysergide.

Spinal tap can also be suggested in some cases.

How Are Primary Cough Headaches Preventable ?

Yes, to a greater extent. You can reduce the occurrence of headaches at least by trying to avoid the specific actions that serve to cause headaches for example, straining during the bowel movements, sneezing or coughing. Some drugs tend to source cough as a side effect, therefore avoid them. Besides, avoid lifting heavy weight as much as possible and use stool softeners.

By : Natural Health News

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