Primary Cough Headache
Primary cough headache is harmless and is not the result of other head or brain conditions. Headache pain goes away quickly, usually within 30 minutes. However, because symptoms are painful and disruptive, drugs to prevent this headache are sometimes considered.
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What is primary cough headache?
Primary cough headaches are uncommon, harmless headaches that occur suddenly and are brought on by coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, straining (such as when having a bowel movement), or laughing or crying vigorously.

Primary cough headache means the headache is caused by the cough itself, not by another condition. When a headache is triggered by cough but the headache is found to be due to a structural problem in the brain, the condition is called secondary cough headache. It’s important to see your doctor to determine the cause of your headache.

Who is likely to have primary cough headache?
About 1 percent of the population experiences a primary cough headache over their lifetime. Both men and women can develop primary cough headache; however, the condition is more common in men than women. Primary cough headache usually occurs in individuals over 40 years of age.

What causes primary cough headache?
The exact cause of primary cough headache is not well understood. One theory is that coughing raises the pressure in the chest and abdomen, which in turn, increases the pressure in the brain.

Primary cough headache is harmless and is not the result of other head or brain conditions.

What are the symptoms of primary cough headache?
Symptoms of primary cough headache include:

Headache comes on suddenly after coughing or straining types of activities, such as having a bowel movement, laughing or crying vigorously, or sneezing or blowing your nose.
Headaches typically last from 1 second to 30 minutes (some patients may have headaches for up to 2 hours).
Headache pain is usually felt on both sides of the head, but can occur only on one side.
Pain level ranges from moderate to severe.
Pain is described as sharp, stabbing, explosive/bursting.
Headache pain is mostly located in the front and sides of the head.
Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound are NOT commonly seen with this type of headache.