What’s causing those bad headaches?
Michele is 32 and she had a really bad headache with the flu.
She asks Check Up what caused it.
A headache is any pain in the head of any description and can last for any period of time, hours to weeks. Headaches can either originate in the brain (primary headaches such as a migraine) or can be caused by some other outside factor such as the flu (secondary headaches).
A migraine headache is often triggered by stress, and experiencing the flu is a very stressful situation for our bodies to undergo. The flu has several symptoms and headache is only one.
The flu can cause a headache and also trigger a migraine headache. And if the headache persists after the other flu symptoms have subsided, this may well be a migraine or tension headache.
Or it can be due to some other cause which requires a doctor’s assessment.
The sinus membranes and membranes lining the nose can also become inflamed during the flu infection, leading to a feeling of facial pressure and eye discomfort, and a bad headache.
Usually, people will recover from the flu within a week or two.
But if a headache with or without fever persists after other symptoms have subsided, then a visit to the doctor is mandatory. Something else other than the flu is responsible for the headache. This could be a sinus headache with a sinus infection which needs antibiotic treatment, or something else. See your doctor!
Another cause of headaches is dehydration, and people lose a lot of fluids during a flu infection.
Please increase your fluid intake during any mucous-producing infection or with any febrile illness.
With the flu, paracetamol and Advil are readily available over-the-counter medications which help relieve headaches and other aches and pains caused by the flu virus.
If these medications do not work, then see your doctor.
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