Coughing in general  sometimes make a person’s head hurt or even trigger a headache. when i cough my head hurts on the right side , this can be due to many reasons.

There are two types of cough headaches which the doctors call primary and secondary cough headaches.

The primary cough headaches are mostly temporary and also harmless.

Secondary ones are the type of cough headaches which are more serious, as they can have  some link to issues with the brain directly .

Keep on reading to learn which symptoms indicate a primary cough headache or a more serious condition than that .

In this article some  home remedies and medical treatment options for both types have been discussed.

What you will read next:

When i cough my head hurts on the right side, what are the causes?

A primary cough has ability to cause a headache or a sharp  pain on one or both sides of the head. There are many causes of head pain on right side after coughing depends on whether the doctors classify the pain as a primary one or a secondary cough headache.

Primary cough head pain is potentially because of sudden pressure in the abdomen, which coughing can cause. This may increase pressure in the head, causing a headache.

Other activities can also lead into similar headaches or pain in the head . These include following:

A secondary cough headache is mostly due to an underlying condition, like a brain disorder. There’s a condition called Chiari type I malformation its the  most common cause of secondary cough headaches or head pain.

Some Other causes of secondary cough headaches or head pain after coughing are as follows:

What are the symptoms of when i cough my head hurts on the right side ?

The primary cough headaches or head pain mostly affects males more than females and also those who are more than 40 years in age.

The primary cough headache can be very brief however in some cases can last up to 30 minutes. In few other cases, people have reported the  primary headache can last upto 2 hours.

Few symptoms for a primary cough headache include the following :

  • pain on either both sides of the head or can be on one side only

  • pain which feels sharp and stabbing

  • pain which begins suddenly on the right side during or after a cough

  • dull ache continuing after the initial head pain on right side has passed

The secondary cough headache mostly lasts anywhere between a few seconds to several weeks. Few symptoms of a secondary cough headache include following:

  • high intensity of pain in the right side of head

  • varying location of head pain

  • varying duration of head pain

  • stabbing pain and dull ache

  • feeling faint

  • dizziness and feeling unbalanced

  • A secondary headache may also have different triggers other than coughing.

What are the Home remedies when i cough my head hurts on the right side?

People mostly can treat primary cough head pain at home.

However Identifying and then treating the cause of the cough can help to reduce or eliminate the head pain in most cases .

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication, like ibuprofen, can help to relieve the head pain after a cough
  • If in case a cold or flu is causing the coughing , the cold or flu remedies can help to reduce the coughing and the Brad pain related it . Clearing the sinuses can also help to reduce the pressure in the head which can ease the head pain .

Home remedies which people can try for a cold or flu include following:

  • getting good amount of rest
  • taking OTC cough medication to ease it
  • drinking warm beverages, like lukewarm water with honey and lemon
  • Staying hydrated
  • getting a yearly flu vaccine if someone is at risk of the flu like people who are old, or are allergic or get flu easily
  • washing the hands with soap and water after a cough
  • Drinking hot drinks like lemon water can help to soothe the throat, can make a person more comfortable if they have a cold or flu in case .

What are the Medical treatments when i cough my head hurts on the right side?

If in case one cannot treat the cause of coughing at home, they may need to see their concerned doctor.

The doctor can prescribe medicines to treat a cough which a cold or any other underlying condition, like  bronchitis, causes.

  • The doctor can prescribe some antiviral medicine if the person has the flu.

The concerned doctor may also prescribe other medications to treat the primary cough head pain , including:

  • anti-inflammatory drugs, like indomethacin

  • beta-blockers

  • acetazolamide which is for the removal of excess fluid and salt from the body

  • ergotamines in case of migraine headaches

All these medications can help to reduce the inflammation and coughing or to relieve pressure and fluid buildup in the skull which can lead to head pain.

If someone has  secondary cough head pain , the treatment is needed for the underlying cause.

The concerned doctor might then request  for a CT or MRI scan to check for any issues incase present in the brain and spinal cord.

People who are with any disorder in the skull or in the spinal cord may need a surgery to:

  • remove a brain tumor in case present

  • restore the normal flow of csf

  • relieve pressure in the skull if present due to excess fluid

  • patch the holes which are causing the spinal fluid to leak

Surgery can also help to treat the condition, and reduce symptoms, further prevent any progression of this disorder

When to see a doctor when i cough my head hurts on the right side?

The primary cough head pain is benign and may resolve over time by itself in few hours or days.

If people have any severe or long lasting head pain after a cough with other symptoms, they  should see their doctor.

People must see the concerned doctor if they experience:

  • faintness, dizziness, weakness or loss of balance with head a pain after a cough.

  • extreme pain, or sudden, severe head pain after Coughing

  • head pain that lasts for longer than 3hours

  • frequent head pains due to coughing on one side or both

  • manifestations, like fever, chills, or unexplained weight loss, with head pain.

  • headache which alters intensity while changing the posture or position, like lying down to standing

  • The doctor can carry out a physical examination and all other necessary tests to find out whether a head pain from coughing is due to a primary or a secondary cause


Although it’s rare and uncommon, people may sometimes experience a head pain on right side or on both sides from coughing.

This is typically due to extra pressure in the abdomen which can increase pressure in the head and cause head pain in the form of headache.

The primary cough headache is due only to coughing, or due to another activity, like sneezing or straining.

Primary cough head pain is  benign and may resolve by Itself after a while. But the secondary cough headache is more serious than the primary one and it’s due to a disorder with the brain, like a tumour or some skull defect.

People can relieve a primary cough head pain through reducing or eliminating coughing. OTC cough or pain medicines can help, as well as drinking plenty of fluids and resting or treating flu cold if present can help too.

If incase the people have a secondary cough head pain they mostly require treatment for the underlying cause.

If incase he’s unsure whether he has a primary or secondary cough head pain  or has severe or long lasting symptoms, he should see the concerned doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

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