Headache from Crying: 3 Types and Treatment


In this article, “headache from crying” you would get to know how crying causes headaches, the types of headache and how it can be treated.

Crying is known to be a natural reaction to an emotion. Having an angry, sad, painful experience can make you cry. When this emotions you feel while crying gets profuse, you tend to have an headache. You might be wondering how crying sends a trigger to the brain, the brain gets so stressed and then an headache begins.

However, if there is no actual emotion and just a positive tears; a tears of joy as it is fondly called, then you might not be affected by an headache. You only get an headache when your tears is caused by a negative emotion.

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Apart from having an headache, when you cry so hard you might experience some of the following;

  • Swelling around your eyes.
  • A reddish eyes
  • A runny nose
Headache from crying
Headache from crying by a woman

Headache From Crying

How does crying cause an headache?

When your cry is out of a negative emotion like anger, pain, sadness, depression, it triggers stress. This stress makes your body to release an hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that stimulates the neurotransmitters in the brain which cause physical symptoms such as; headache, runny nose and lots more. This physical symptoms may go from mild to severe and the person crying gets to feel the headache.

Types of Headache from Crying

There are three (3) major types of headache that can be caused by crying. They include;

1. Sinus Headache

A Sinus headache is a type of headache that occurs as a result of pressure. When people cry, the tears does not only affect the eyes but also the nose, throat and other organs connected. This tears is the reason why people experience runny nose while crying as the eye is connected to the nose and the tears passes to their nasal passage.

A building of this tears can cause an inflammation and pressure in the sinuses which contributes to an headache. A person with a sinus problem may experience these symptoms;

  • Stuffy nose
  • Discharge from your nose.
  • Postnasal drop (dripping in the back of your throat)
  • Pain in your eyes and around your nose, cheek, teeth, jaw and forehead.
  • Sore throat
  • Cough

2. Tension Headache

This is a common headache that can be experienced from crying. Tension headaches feels like a tightening around the head. It can cause some pain and discomfort in the neck and shoulders as the muscles gets to tighten as well. Tension headache does not have anymore symptoms than this.

3. Migraine

Migraine are severe pounding headaches. This type of headache occurs only on one side of the head. The stress and tension from crying can trigger a migraine headache to occur. A person with migraine experience these symptoms;

  • Vomiting
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Light sensitivity
  • Nausea

Treatments for Headache from Crying

These headaches could be treated both medically and by home remedies.

Medical ways of treating headache from crying includes;

1. Antidepressants which helps prevents both tension and migraine headaches.

2. Over-the-counter pain relieving medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol, panadol etc.

3. Triptans which helps to relieve migraine headache. It changes the blood flow in the brain to reduce inflammation.

4. Cardiovascular medicines such as calcium channel blockers and beta blocked which helps to prevent migraines headache from occurring. It also treats high blood pressure and coronary artery diseases.

5. Anti seizure drugs such as topamax which helps to relieve migraine headache and also to reduce a tension headache.


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Some home remedies to stop these headache from crying includes;

1. Applying a Cold or Hot Compress

You can apply a pack of ice or a warm compress bottle to your forehead, neck or around your jaw to ease the headache. This helps to cure both tension and sinus headaches as they can smoothie inflamed tissue and help you take a nap as the headache subsides.

2. Massage

This can be helpful to someone who has a tension headache. A massage around the head, neck or shoulder can help alleviate the tension that causes discomfort. Also, a general massage can help you stay calm.

3. Have Enough Rest

Rest in a dark and calm room with your eyes closed. A dark environment helps to soothe some irritating tissues around the eye while a calm environment helps relief a sinus headache. Generally, as you rest, your body is calm and your tension is lowered. This may also help to relief a tension and migraine headache.

How to Prevent Headache from Crying

Simple methods to prevent this headaches from occurring or reoccurring includes;

  • Eat food with appropriate nutrients.
  • Exercise more often.
  • Have enough sleep.

When to visit your Doctor

Although some treatments have been highlighted above, if you experience a sinus headache, a tension headache or a migraine headache more often than usual then it is important to visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.


There are many ways to get rid of headache that occurs after crying. Yes! medical treatment and home remedies. It is very much advised that if the headache reoccurs frequently, you should visit your Doctor for proper diagnosis to determine the main cause of the headache so as to prevent it from further occurring.