The difference between Covid-19 headache and other headaches is that Covid-19 headache has associated symptoms. It gives a feeling of tight squeezing sensation around the head. This may be due to the Cytokine storm (An immune reaction of the body, in which the body releases too many cytokines too quickly). Before getting panicked about how to differentiate Covid-19 headache from other headaches? And the cause of the headache is ordinary, Migraine, or Covid-19 infection. Take a look at other signs of Covid-19 (fever, dry cough, loss of smell, and taste). If the other associated signs of Covid-19 are not present, There may be other causes. At present, the exact characteristics of Covid-19 headache are yet to be clearly defined.
As the Covid-19 pandemic has spread almost the world over. It is natural to get panicked at the sight of a common cold, cough, or a lingering headache. With Covid-19 raging in different ways in different regions and different people, the panic from Covid-19 is a reality. The pandemic has affected many aspects of humanity. It has affected our daily routines pertaining to home and working spaces. The economies have shattered. People are glued to electronic screens hampering physical activities. It has affected our sleeping patterns also. The drastic changes in daily activities and fear of infection can also be a cause of more stressful conditions and headaches.
Covid-19 is caused by a coronavirus. Which in technical terms is called SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). It is a respiratory tract infection, which basically causes infection in the lungs. There are several symptoms of coronavirus like- fever, cough, cold, fatigue, loss of smell, and taste. And one of the symptoms is a headache. Headache is a potential symptom of Covid-19. It may appear in the early phase of infection, in the later phase it may be a warning symptom.
How to differentiate between Covid-19 headache and other headaches?
Since headaches are a common symptom of various health problems and their reasons vary. It becomes difficult to differentiate between Covid-19 headache and other headaches. As per recent reports, Covid-19 headaches are mostly characterized by the following:-
- Pain is moderate to severe in intensity.
- On bending down, pain increases.
- Covid-19 headache causes a pulsing or pressing sensation.
Difference between Covid-19 headache and Migraine headache.
The difference between Covid-19 headache and Migraine headache is that Covid-19 headache is not associated with symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Moreover, it is a viral infection, therefore covid-19 headache is generally associated with fever. Whereas in Migraine headache fever is not present. Moreover, Migraine headache is associated with sensitivity to light and sound. In Covid-19 headache sensitivity to sound and light is not reported. In common headaches also generally fever is not reported. Thus to differentiate Covid-19 headache from other headaches, The associated symptoms like- Fever, dry cough, cold, difficulty in breathing, loss of sense of taste and smell, extreme exhaustion may be taken into consideration.
Is a headache a common symptom among Covid-19 patients?
As per a report from the World health organization (WHO) approximately 13.6% of Covid-19 patients reported headache symptoms. The report came after studying 55000 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Whereas according to the Center for disease control (CDC) Covid-19 headache was reported from 9.6% to 21.3% hospitalized cases.
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What can be done?
Contact your healthcare provider. However, to get some relief from headaches, the following suggestions may help.
- Use over the counter (OTC) medicines like acetaminophen, aspirin, or Ibuprofen to get relief from pain.
- Apply the cool compress on the forehead for relief from pain. It may also give relief from fever.
- Gently massage the forehead and temple. It may provide some relief from pain.
- Take some rest by laying down and closing eyes, to get some relief.
For awareness purposes only.