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Mild Headache (cont.)

What Are Headache Symptoms?

Mild headache symptoms are unlikely to need immediate medical attention. These symptoms include mild head pain that is aching, squeezing, or band-like, on both sides of the head, generally above the level of the eyebrows.

These headaches can occur often and may appear at predictable times. People who have these types of mild headache often know the triggers and symptoms of their headaches because the pattern repeats itself for each episode.

Common headache types include the following:

  1. Tension-type headache is thought to be the most common headache type. It occurs more often in women than in men. Attacks can be occasional or more frequent. Symptoms include tight, or pressing, mild-to-moderate head pain, which may be on both sides. Pain usually radiates from the neck and the back of the head around the sides.
  2. Migraine is the second most common headache type. These are classified according to whether or not they include an aura (a visual disturbance, weakness, or numbness that occurs 1 to 2 hours before the onset of the headache). Migraines with this aura are called classic, while those without are called common. Migraine is more common in women than men. It is often one-sided, throbbing, of moderate-to-severe intensity. The headache may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
  3. Cluster headache is a less common headache that occurs in men more often than women. With a cluster headache, there is intense pain that is generally on one side and located around the eye or temple. A bloodshot eye, tearing, runny nose, and eyelid drooping or swelling on the same side of the face may also occur. The headaches tend to occur in "clusters," sometimes daily or every few days over a period of weeks to months. After such a "cluster" of headaches, there may be symptom-free periods of years before another cluster of headaches occurs.

What Are Different Types of Headache?

Whether a headache is perceived as mild is often subjective. In addition to tension headaches, migraine headaches, and cluster headaches, there are other types of headaches commonly experienced. Some are mild, some may be more severe. These other headache types include:

  • Sinus Headache: Pressure and fullness experienced in the front of the face, forehead, and behind the eyes caused by sinus inflammation or infection.
  • Caffeine Headache: A withdrawal headache caused by stopping chronic use of caffeine.
  • Cervicogenic Headache: This is like a tension headache and is caused by muscle spasm tightness that radiates from the neck. It may be associated with cervical (neck) disc disease.
  • Stress Headache: Another form of tension headache. May result from stress from any cause.
  • Spinal Headache: A headache that results from a spinal tap procedure (lumbar puncture). After the procedure, fluid may leak from the spinal column leading to worsening headache when standing.
  • Exertion Headache: This is a headache that comes on after excessive physical exertion. It may be a combination of a tension headache and mild dehydration.
  • Allergy Headache: Similar to a sinus headache, allergens in the environment irritate the nasal passages and sinus tissue and can cause headaches.
  • Thunderclap Headache: This is a sudden-onset headache, often described as "the worst headache of your life." It may be caused by bleeding in or around the brain (aneurysm) and is very serious, and can be life-threatening. If you are having the worst headache of your life, especially if it is sudden in onset (like thunder hitting you), seek medical care immediately.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017
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