Does COVID-19 cause headaches? A guide

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Despite recent media reports claiming that certain NSAIDs, most notably ibuprofen, may be linked to worsened COVID-19 symptoms, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that the use of NSAIDs aggravates COVID-19 infection. Though COVID-related headaches subside with other symptoms in most people, up to 45 percent of people continue to suffer from the headache after click this link now other symptoms wane. As a survivor of a traumatic brain injury that happened a little more than a decade ago, Heather Schroeder is no stranger to headaches. She’s controlled her intermittent migraines with medication and Botox injections since a horse-riding accident. But when she caught COVID-19 in July 2021, the headaches she suffered were “living hell,” she says.

But her COVID headache came on in an instant, and her migraines since her infection aren’t the same. “My migraines are far less controllable, and in the fall and early spring they were far more frequent than ever before,” she says. Some headaches will go away on their own, but others may require treatment to relieve the symptom. Many types of headaches exist, and they can range from mild to severe.

Most research on COVID headaches doesn’t address whether symptoms differ for vaccinated or unvaccinated people, but at least one recent study found that for those who were vaccinated or boosted, headaches were among the less severe symptoms. Those with post-COVID headaches tend to respond well to the migraine medications amitriptyline and nortriptyline, Frontera says. A headache is usually an early COVID symptom and typically bilateral—occurring on both sides of the head, or the “whole head,” as some have described it. The pain varies from moderate to severe, but several people told National Geographic that the pain was far worse than with previous headaches; others rated the pain as on par with past migraines. But between 47 and 80 percent of people with a history of headaches described their COVID headache as different from past ones—with pain that was both sudden and intense.

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All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Visit our coronavirus hub for the most recent information on COVID-19. Learn about common side effects, why some vaccines cause stronger reactions, and how to manage them. A definitive answer remains elusive, but there’s no question the problem exists in great numbers, judging by multiple studies.

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The most common of these neurological complications are headaches and loss of taste or smell. Her husband, Jesse Trucks, also sustained a TBI from sports injuries and, like click here for info his wife, had been vaccinated four months before getting COVID-19. He also developed a headache, which he described as distinct from those resulting from his brain injury.

COVID-19 sends the immune system into overdrive, and the resulting inflammation can trigger fatigue. If you’re dealing with a COVID-19 headache, odds are you’ll go the same route. Given all of that, “this tends to be a very, very challenging headache to treat or manage,” notes Dr. Estemalik. COVID-19 can also cause more serious neurological complications, such as dizziness and difficulty thinking or concentrating.

Skull-pounding headaches can continue for weeks or even months after you test positive for COVID-19, with around-the-clock pain separated only by periods of agonizing and extreme spikes. People should contact a doctor if they experience any of the above symptoms alongside a headache. People should contact they said a doctor if they feel concerned about the severity or duration of their headache after receiving their COVID-19 vaccine. A person can take OTC medication, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, to relieve these symptoms. However, they should not take this medication before the vaccine to prepare for side effects.

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