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Symptoms and Signs of Mild Headache Types, Causes, Symptoms, Home Remedies, Medical Treatment, and Cure

Doctor's Notes on Mild Headache Types, Causes, Symptoms, Home Remedies, Medical Treatment, and Cure

Headaches are common conditions but usually not serious. There are many different causes of headaches and the pain in different types of headache can vary in intensity, location, and duration. Mild headaches can occur frequently and predictably and many people who have them know what triggers the headache.

Symptoms of mild headaches usually do not need medical treatment. Symptoms of mild headache may include mild head pain that is aching, squeezing, or band-like, on both sides of the head, generally above the level of the eyebrows. Pain can be sharp, dull, constant, intermittent, or pounding. Additional symptoms that may accompany a headache include dizziness, numbness or weakness, changes in vision, balance problems, eye/ear/face pain, cold symptoms, fever, sensitivity to light or sound, or nausea with or without vomiting

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Mild Headache Types, Causes, Symptoms, Home Remedies, Medical Treatment, and Cure 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.

Mild Headache Types, Causes, Symptoms, Home Remedies, Medical Treatment, and Cure Causes

Headache is caused by irritation or injury to pain-sensing structures of the head. The structures that can sense pain include the scalp, forehead, top of head, the muscles of the neck and head, major arteries and veins in the head, the sinuses, and the tissues that surround the brain. The brain has no sensory nerve endings so the brain itself cannot "hurt."

Headache may occur when these structures suffer compression, spasm, tension, inflammation, or irritation.

Research into the mechanisms of various headache types is ongoing. The causes of mild tension-type headache are not yet completely understood. A common theory involves nerve endings in the head that are irritated by tight muscles in the neck, face, and scalp, along with irritation to the arteries and veins nearby.

The events that trigger mild headache vary widely among people who get headaches. Each person seems to have his or her own pattern. Common headache triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Hormonal fluctuations before, during, or after menstruation
  • Muscle tension in the back and neck
  • Exhaustion
  • Hunger and dehydration
  • Medications (Many drugs designed to relieve pain can actually cause headache when the drug is stopped after a period of prolonged use.)
  • Alcohol, caffeine, and sugar withdrawal

Other causes of headache include:

  • Household hazards such as carbon monoxide poisoning: If the headaches are recurrent or worse each morning or if more than one person in the household experiences the same type of headache, there may be an excessive level of carbon monoxide in the air. Carbon monoxide poisoning comes from faulty heaters or stoves that do not have proper exhaust to the outside of the house. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, leave the building immediately and do not return until the levels of carbon monoxide are checked.
  • Headache associated with eye pain and vomiting: These headaches may indicate an eye disease called glaucoma and warrant immediate medical attention, or vision can be permanently harmed.
  • Headache that occurs with neck stiffness or pain, light sensitivity, fever, and confusion: These types of headaches could mean meningitis. This is a medical emergency and needs immediate attention.
  • Temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ) can cause grinding of the teeth and muscular tightness around the head and face, leading to headaches.

12 Surprising Headache Triggers Tips Slideshow

 12 Surprising Headache Triggers Tips Slideshow

Anything (or anyone) that boosts your stress level can make you more vulnerable to tension headaches or migraines. Doctors don’t know exactly how it happens. Many things may be involved, including certain nerves in the brain that relay pain messages and may be extra sensitive. Changes within the brain itself may also be involved in migraine headaches.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.