When you’re sick with a bad cold or the flu, everything you do hurts. That includes coughing and sneezing. But why does your head hurt when you cough or sneeze? It’s not like your brain is sensitive to that kind of stimulation. Thankfully, there’s an explanation for this phenomenon. When you strain your voice by coughing loudly or forcefully (as when sneezing), it causes pressure to build up in your ears temporarily and gives you a headache.
Why Does Your Head Hurt When You Cough?
We all have experienced that weird feeling whenever we feel like our heads are about to burst. It is not a pleasant feeling, but an indication of something being off with our bodies. When you start to have this sensation frequently, it indicates that you need to take care of yourself better. If it happens after you have coughed violently, then there might be a connection between the two. Here are some reasons why does your head hurt when you cough?
You have a sinus infection
A sinus infection is one of the most common reasons why your head hurts when you cough. The most common symptom of a sinus infection is a really nasty headache. Sinus infections are usually caused by a bacterial infection that causes the mucus membranes inside the nose and sinuses to swell. The swelling makes it difficult to breathe through the nose and leads to cough-like symptoms in the other areas of the head, including the forehead and temples. Get to a doctor if you have a sinus infection and your head is hurting when you cough. It’s important to get on antibiotics as quickly as possible so that the infection doesn’t spread to other parts of the body and cause more serious health problems.
Your throat is sore and feels swollen when you cough
When your throat is sore and swollen, it’s much more likely that your head will hurt when you cough. The swollen, tender tissue in the throat makes you more susceptible to headaches because it inflames the muscles and nerves in the area and causes them to spasm. When the muscles in the head spasm, they put pressure on the nerves that run through the skull and cause pain. The pain and swelling also cause excess mucus to build up in the throat, which can be coughed up and irritate the sensitive tissue in the throat. And when that happens, the sensitivity and swelling in the throat can spread to the sinuses and the rest of the head, leading to a painful headache.
You have a fever
Fever is generally thought of as a symptom of an infection, but it actually causes a lot of problems in the body that make the infection worse. Fever causes blood vessels in the head, including the blood vessels in the brain, to dilate. This allows more blood to flow through the vessels and increases the pressure in the skull. Fever also reduces the amount of oxygen that flows through the blood and into the brain. The combination of increased pressure and less oxygen is the perfect recipe for a killer headache.
Coughing makes your headache worse
The pressure of coughing and the swelling in your head and sinuses can worsen the pain in your head. It’s important to note that you don’t always have to have a sinus infection to experience a headache when you cough. It’s also possible to experience a headache when you cough if there’s a lot of pressure on your sinuses due to dehydration and/or allergies. Coughing is a natural response to irritation in the throat and lungs, but it’s important to make sure you don’t overdo it. The last thing you want is to end up with a headache that doesn’t go away because you’ve been coughing too much.
You’ve been coughing up green or yellow mucus
If you’ve been coughing up green or yellow mucus, it’s likely that you have a bacterial infection in your sinuses and throat. Mucus is a defense mechanism that our bodies use to fight infections and allergies. The excess mucus can cause the throat to become swollen and can make your headaches worse. When the mucus builds up and is coughed up into the sinuses, it can cause a sinus infection that leads to a bad headache. Mucus can also contain bacteria and allergens that can lead to even more problems, including ear infections and viral infections. If you’ve been coughing up green or yellow mucus and your head hurts when you cough, it’s important to see your doctor.
How To Reduce The Pain When Your Head Hurts From Coughing And Sneezing?
Coughing and sneezing cause a reduction in the volume of blood flow to the salivary glands, which in turn causes a decrease in saliva production. Saliva is responsible for helping to protect the inside of our mouths. When we don’t have enough saliva, we are at increased risk of developing mouth ulcers (aphthous ulcers). A reduction in saliva can also lead to an increase in the build-up of food particles and bacteria in the mouth. When this happens, we are more likely to develop infections in our mouths, such as gingivitis, which is a chronic inflammation of the gums. If you are regularly coughing and sneezing, it is advisable to stay hydrated to reduce the likelihood of developing mouth and gum diseases.
Take care with your neck and face
Coughing and sneezing require us to bend forward and tuck our chins into our chests so that our chests are fully open. This places significant strain on the soft tissues and muscles in our neck, face, and mouth. Coughing and sneezing can cause your teeth to be pushed together, leading to gum damage and mouth sores. Similarly, they can cause a reduction in the blood flow to the muscles in your jaw, which can ultimately lead to joint pain. If you suffer from frequent bouts of coughing and sneezing, try to take care of your neck and face as best as you can. Avoid bending your neck too far forward when coughing or sneezing, and try to keep your mouth as close as possible.
Don’t try to fight the spasms
Try to relax and let the spasms happen. Fighting the spasms will only cause you to incur more damage. Coughing and sneezing are involuntary spasms of the diaphragm, the large muscle that sits at the base of the lungs. When we have irritation in our respiratory tract, our bodies respond by trying to remove the irritant. Coughing and sneezing are the most common ways to expel irritants from the respiratory tract. Unfortunately, they are also the most painful. Coughing and sneezing hurt because we try to hold the spasms back. If we didn’t try to control the spasms, they would be less painful. Coughing and sneezing are reflexes that must take place. So don’t try to fight the spasms, and they will be less painful.
Try ginger and eucalyptus oils
Ginger and eucalyptus are both demulcents, which means that they have a soothing and anti-irritant effect on the body. Ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility, making it a great option for those who suffer from joint pain as a result of coughing or sneezing. Eucalyptus’s anti-irritant properties make it a great choice for those who suffer from coughing or sneezing pain because it will reduce the inflammation and ultimately the pain in your body. Ginger and eucalyptus oils can be added to a bowl of water and used as a room spray to help reduce coughing and sneezing triggers in your home. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of each to a vaporizer or humidifier in your home to help reduce coughing and sneezing pain.
Use a humidifier or vaporizer
Humidifiers and vaporizers are great for reducing coughing and sneezing pain. They add moisture to the air, which helps protect the inside of your respiratory tract from irritants. Humidifiers also help to soothe the skin on your face and mouth. While humidifiers and vaporizers will not reduce the need to cough or sneeze, they will help to reduce the pain caused by coughing and sneezing. If you use a humidifier or vaporizer, make sure to clean it regularly to prevent the build-up of bacteria in the machine.
Tips To Stop Your Head From Hurting When You Cough Or Sneeze
If you have a cold and your head is hurting, try to rest as much as you can.
- If you have allergies, make sure you’re taking allergy medication as prescribed by a physician. This can help with your congestion and allergies.
- If you’re experiencing a lot of pain, take a painkiller like an acetaminophen (Tylenol). Avoid taking ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) if you have a cold because it can prolong your symptoms.
- If your ears are feeling blocked, it can help to use a warm compress to loosen up the earwax. If you’re experiencing high blood pressure, you shouldn’t use a compress.
- Instead, try to use a hot water bottle and massage your ears. You can also try chewing gum to increase circulation to your ears and reduce the likelihood of getting a headache from coughing or sneezing.
Coughing and sneezing can be hard on the body, especially when you’re sick. It’s important to take care of yourself when you’re experiencing symptoms, and that includes avoiding situations where you might transmit germs to others. If you have a stuffy or runny nose, try to avoid getting too close to others and make sure you wash your hands often. If your head hurts when you cough or sneeze, the best thing to do is try to relax. Although it might be annoying to have a headache when you cough or sneeze, it’s nothing to worry about.