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Head hurts when I cough..
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Head hurts when I cough..

28 year old male.
Hi about 1-2 months ago i had these following symptoms, and now it has returned.

When I cough, or sneeze moderatly hard to hard, or stoop down I get a bad pain in my left side (left to right) and middle (front to back) of my Head.

The pain happens AS i cough and the harder I cough the worse it hurts and longer it takes to go away. The majority of the pain lasts only as I cough and quickly diminishes.. however if it hurts alot it also lingers around and becomes dull.

** In April of 2002 I had an MRI which was negative **
** In January of 2004 I had a CT scan of head which was neg. **
** In January of 2004 also had CT scan of sinuses which showed sinus membranes was swollen/enlarged (there is another word they used).

Q1: Do you think that I need another MRI, or do you think it is a cough headache ??

Q2: Also the fact that I had it about a month or two ago and it went away (because I know I have sneezed my but off with allergy season recently and didn't experience any pain than).

The problem here is there seems to not be alot of things that can cause this besides a tumor.. so that scares me.
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To answer your questions:
1) A head CT is normally appropriate enough to diagnose most causes of headaches.  I would work on treating the sinuses via an ENT consult since that an be a treatable cause of headaches.  If the sinus route is not-revealing, an MRI can be considered.

2) If the head CT scan is negative, tumor is very unlikely.  If the MRI is negative, then chances are next to nothing.  Again, I would treat the sinusitis - either via antibiotics, steroid therapy, or surgery.  An ENT consult would be reasonable.  If not revealing, a neurology can be considered.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
Medical Weblog:
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1 Comment
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i can't tell exactly where pain is.. its just on the left.. maybe back or top or middle inside of my head, hard to tell since it is only briefly very painful then quickly diminishes.
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A related discussion, Sharp Headaches was started.
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A related discussion, Acute head pain when coughing was started.
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