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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Pain when coughing


 CelticLabyrinth - Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:18 pm

I'm a 21 year old female. I have pseudotumor cerebri (possibly in remission?), hypothyroidism, asthma, clotting issues, and some other not so important things. I was hospitalized a year ago for what was described as a hemiplegic migraine after everything else was eliminated. I've also had abnormal spikes on an EEG (I lost my insurance before I could get the more comprehensive 48 hour EEG). I've recently had a virus that triggered my asthma, causing me to cough like crazy. The virus triggered a migraine type of headache for 24 hours. For the last two days whenever I cough I get a very severe pain on the top of the right side of my head. Same exact place every time- and the pain only lasts half a second. Should I be concerned about this? If this virus doesn't clear up I will be going to see my primary care doctor. I've also been seeing crescent shapes and circles around my central vision, it seems to be triggered by how I move my eyes (similiar to transient visual obscursions/TVOs, but a bit shorter). Last time my eyes were dilated the papilledema wasn't visible and my, um, spontaneous venus pulsations were visible and more normal. Aside from the recent headache I haven't had a lot of head pain for the last 6 months or so. I can't afford to see a neurologist or a neuro-opth right now unless the county health clinic finds one for me.

Thank-you for your time!
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:12 pm

User avatar Hi CelticLabyrinth,

When you cough you are likely increasing your intracranial pressure (a known occurrence with coughing). If you have an irritated or inflamed area in the blood vessels or lining of the brain the coughing may be stimulating this area and causing the pain. The virus may have caused this area of irritation, in which case it will likely improve.

If it doesn't improve I would suggest you see your general doctor for an evaluation. When you are able, seeing a neurologist will be important to follow up on some of your other issues.

Best wishes.

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