How to Cope with a COVID-19 Headache?

In addition to a positive test result, symptoms of coughing, fever, and shortness of breath used to be some of the most prevalent indicators that someone had been infected with COVID-19. However, the most recent variations have brought with them a new symptom that has been on the rise: headache. Earlier in the pandemic, the doctors frequently saw headaches in patients who had lost their sense of smell and taste. However, with Omicron, they are now witnessing headaches even in patients who have not lost their senses, and they frequently occur both during the infection period and after it has passed.

Triggering Factors

Suppose you suffered from headaches before testing positive for the virus. In that case, you could be familiar with your triggers, also known as the factors that bring on your symptoms. Stress, insufficient sleep, consuming alcohol, and even certain odors are among the numerous things that might bring on a headache for many people.

One in every four persons who became sick with COVID-19 reported having headaches at some point during their illness. It makes headaches one of the most prevalent symptoms of COVID-19. Most respiratory viruses do not induce headaches at a rate nearly as high. According to recent studies, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has a much higher risk of causing headaches compared to other respiratory viruses. However, experts have yet to determine why the virus causes headaches more often.

How would you know if you have a headache caused by Covid 19?

It could seem familiar to you if you've ever suffered from headaches or if you cope with them regularly. However, given that there are a variety of headaches, the most common ones being migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches, you may have never previously encountered the specific kind of headache pain you are now feeling. Most individuals who experience it describe it as similar to a tension headache, complete with a band-like phenomenon. However, it is also possible for it to be a migraine headache, complete with nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.

In addition, the following symptoms may accompany or feel like a COVID-19 headache −

  • Throbbing or pulsing pain

  • Pain in the temples or the back of the head that is piercing or stabbing in nature. Vertigo, light-headedness, or dizziness

  • sensory dysfunctions such as ringing in the ears, numbness or tingling in the extremities, difficulties thinking, and so on

It is not clear what causes COVID-19 headaches to be so excruciating. However, there are several other ways in which the virus might cause headaches. The virus is responsible for the following −

  • inflammation both external to the brain as well as inside the brain

  • An inflammation that affects the blood vessels located throughout the body (including the brain)

  • fever and a lack of water

  • Symptoms related to inflammation of the trigeminal nerve

  • All of these factors have the potential to bring on headaches.

How to deal with such headaches?

  • Stay hydrated. Headaches are a common symptom of dehydration. When you're unwell, you run a higher risk of being dehydrated, particularly if you have a temperature.

  • You might try a hot or cold compress. Depending on your preference, warm or cold compresses help relieve tension headaches. Maintain the position of the compress on your neck for about 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Focus on sleep. After fully recovering from COVID, you should make every effort to return to your typical pattern of sleeping and waking. It may be challenging to get or stay asleep when you have a headache, but you should strive to obtain between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.

  • Have a discussion regarding prescription medicine with your primary care physician. Drugs are available by prescription for those suffering from migraines and cluster headaches. These drugs are known to be prescribed to you by your healthcare professional.

  • You may take pain medicines that are available without a prescription. But be very careful before taking such medicines. You may ask the pharmacist before buying. Better consult your doctor always. Ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are both effective treatments for COVID-19 symptoms, including headaches, and both may be used safely simultaneously. Be careful to follow the dosing instructions listed on the product's label, or speak with your healthcare practitioner about the appropriate dosage.


Remember that various factors may bring on headaches and that certain forms of headaches may indicate a more severe underlying health problem. Headaches and the inability to move the neck owing to discomfort and stiffness are two symptoms that are often connected with meningitis. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is a form of bleeding in the brain, and one of the symptoms of this condition is an intense headache that comes on suddenly. Seek urgent medical assistance if you are unsure if your headache might be a symptom of anything more severe since this could indicate that you need to be checked out immediately.

Updated on: 12-Jan-2023


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