Headache From Crying: Understanding the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Most of us have experienced the unpleasant feeling of a headache. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, dehydration, lack of sleep or certain foods. However, there’s a particular type of headache that’s often caused by crying – the ‘Headache From Crying’. In this article, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms and treatment for headache from crying, including some tips on how to prevent it from happening in the future.

What is a Headache from Crying?

A headache from crying is a type of headache that develops after prolonged and intense crying. The tears that stream down our face have a high concentration of chemicals that can cause inflammation in the tissues around our eyes, nose and forehead. This inflammation can lead to the headache, which typically feels like a dull, throbbing pain on both sides of the forehead that can last for several hours.

According to some studies, women are more likely than men to experience this type of headache. Additionally, people who have a history of migraines or other types of headaches are also more susceptible to headache from crying.

Causes of Headache from Crying

The main cause of headache from crying is the inflammation that results from the chemicals found in tears. When we cry, our body releases high levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can further exacerbate the inflammation and trigger a headache.

In addition to the inflammation caused by tears, other possible causes of headache from crying include:

  • Lack of oxygen due to prolonged crying
  • Inhaling irritants such as pollen, dust or smoke while crying
  • Muscle tension and eye strain
  • Dehydration from crying

Symptoms of Headache from Crying

The symptoms of headache from crying are usually mild to moderate and can vary from person to person. The most common symptoms include:

  • Dull or throbbing pain on both sides of the forehead
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle tension around the forehead and temples
  • Feeling of pressure behind the eyes

The symptoms usually start within a few hours of crying and can last for several hours or even up to a day. In some cases, the headache from crying can be so intense that it may interfere with daily activities such as work, school or household chores.

Treatment for Headache from Crying

Fortunately, headache from crying is usually not a serious condition and can be treated with simple home remedies. Some common treatment options include:

  • Rest – Find a quiet and dark place to rest and relax. Close your eyes and breathe deeply to help ease tension in your muscles.
  • Hydration – Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, which can help alleviate some of the symptoms.
  • Cold Compress – Apply a cold compress to your forehead to help reduce inflammation and numb the pain.
  • Over-The-Counter Medications – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, it’s important to follow the recommended dosage and not overuse these medications.

If your symptoms persist or are severe, it’s important to seek medical attention. Your doctor may prescribe prescription drugs or other treatments if needed.

How to Prevent Headache from Crying

While it’s not always possible to prevent crying, there are some strategies you can use to reduce the risk of developing a headache from crying:

  • Avoid Triggers – If certain situations or people tend to make you cry, avoid them as much as possible.
  • Take Breaks – If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or emotional, take a break to gather your thoughts and calm down before continuing.
  • Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration from crying.
  • Manage Stress – Practice stress-management techniques such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises to help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Regular Sleep – Get enough sleep at night to avoid the risk of headache due to lack of sleep.

Conclusion

Headache from crying is a common and usually harmless condition that can be treated with simple home remedies. The inflammation caused by tears is the main cause of this type of headache, and women or those with a history of migraines are more prone to it. By taking steps to manage stress, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated, you can reduce your risk of developing a headache from crying. If your symptoms persist, seek medical attention to ensure there’s no other underlying issue.

FAQs

1. What causes a headache from crying?

Crying can lead to dehydration, which in turn can cause headaches. Additionally, crying causes changes in neurotransmitter levels in the brain, which can also trigger headaches. Sometimes, headaches from crying may also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, and it is recommended to consult a doctor if the headaches are severe or persistent.

2. How can I prevent a headache from crying?

Staying hydrated by drinking enough water before and after crying can help prevent headaches. Taking deep breaths and calming down before and after crying may also help. In some cases, avoiding triggers such as stress, tension, or emotional situations may help avoid the headache altogether.

3. What are some home remedies for a headache from crying?

Applying a cold compress or ice pack to the forehead or temples may help alleviate headache pain. Taking a warm bath or shower can also help relax tense muscles and ease headaches. Additionally, drinking herbal teas or using aromatherapy with essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus may also provide relief. Consult with a doctor before using any home remedies, especially if you have an underlying medical condition.


References

1. Aamir, A. U., Qureshi, A. F., & Ali, R. (2017). Headache caused by emotional distress: A review of pathophysiology and management. Journal of Headache and Pain, 18(1), 1-7.
Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-017-0779-z

2. Fleischhacker, E., & Patel, M. K. (2015). Headache and emotional distress: the perfect storm. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 55(6), 853-856.
Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/head.12551

3. Ashina, S., Lipton, R. B., Ashina, M., & Munjal, S. (2020). Headache secondary to emotional disorders. Current Opinion in Neurology, 33(3), 338-346.
Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1097/wco.0000000000000801