Benign Exertional Headache Quiz

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Reviewed By:

Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS

Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS (Primary Care Physician)

Dr. Nass received dual medical degrees from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Charles R. Drew University in Medicine and Science. He completed Family Medicine residency at Ventura County Medical Center with subsequent fellowships at Ventura, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, George Washington University, and University of California-Irvine. He holds faculty appointments at Keck School of Medicine of USC, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and Western University of Health Sciences.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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  • Pulsating headache

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Learn more about Benign Exertional Headache

Content updated on Jan 19, 2024

What is benign exertional headache?

A harmless headache caused by physical exertion like intense exercise, sneezing, or straining during bowel movements. The exact cause is unknown, but it's thought to be related to blood vessel narrowing during physical activity.

Symptoms of benign exertional headache

  • Headache

  • Headache after strenuous exercise

  • Living in a warm or hot environment

  • Headache occurs on coughing

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Losing consciousness

Questions your doctor may ask to check for benign exertional headache

  • Do you have headaches or a heavy feeling in your head?

  • Do you get the headaches after intense exercise?

  • Do you live or work in a hot environment?

  • Does coughing give you a headache?

  • Are you feeling nauseous or have you been vomiting?

Treatment for benign exertional headache

Anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen are typically prescribed for benign exertional headaches. If the headaches are predictable, your doctor may prescribe medication to be taken regularly to prevent them.

View the symptoms of Benign Exertional Headache

  • Headache

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Faint

References

  • Sjaastad O, Bakketeig LS. Prolonged benign exertional headache. The Vågå Study of headache epidemiology. Headache. 2003 Jun;43(6):611-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.2003.03123.x. PMID: 12786919.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi?DOI=10.1046/j.1526-4610.2003.03123.x

User testimonials

Reviewed By:

Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS

Scott Nass, MD, MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS (Primary Care Physician)

Dr. Nass received dual medical degrees from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Charles R. Drew University in Medicine and Science. He completed Family Medicine residency at Ventura County Medical Center with subsequent fellowships at Ventura, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, George Washington University, and University of California-Irvine. He holds faculty appointments at Keck School of Medicine of USC, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and Western University of Health Sciences.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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