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Learn about your mild headache, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your mild headache from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Mild Headache Checker

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Your Mild Headache May Also be Known as:
Bit of a headache
Slight headache

Mild Headache Symptoms

A headache is defined as pain in any region of the headand can take on multiple qualities including:

  • Mild to severe
  • Sharp or dull
  • Throbbing or squeezing
  • Localized or spread out
  • Sudden or gradual
  • Unilateral (one side of the head) or bilateral (both sides of the head)
  • Brief or persistent

Within this spectrum of symptoms, mild headaches often occupy the lesser end of the scale. ### For example, mild headaches are often: ###

  • Dull
  • Gradual
  • Brief, lasting minutes to hours.

Mild headaches may be the most benign of headache pain; however, that does not mean they should be ignored. It is important to take note of the type and quality of your headache symptoms in order to get proper care. If you experience mild headache symptoms, make an appointment with your medical doctor in order to discuss treatment options.

Mild Headache Causes Overview

Headaches happen when there is increased activity or dysregulation of pain-sensitive structures in the head. Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary and secondary. It is important to make this distinction because primary and secondary headaches have different causes. Getting the right diagnosis from your doctor is key in getting the proper treatment and care.

Primary headache:

A primary headache is a headache that is due to the headache condition itself and not due to another cause or underlying condition. Many times, these types of headaches are related to certain triggers.

  • Stress:Things in your life that are causing stress or lack of sleep can easily trigger mild headache symptoms.
  • Diet: Beverages such as caffeine and alcohol can trigger primary headaches. Moreover, dietary insufficiencies such as skipped meals or dehydration can also result in mild primary headache symptoms.

Secondary headache:

A secondary headache is a headache that is present because of another condition or underlying disease. Many conditions can cause mild headache symptoms.

  • Inflammatory: Infections and inflammation of any of the structures in the head (sinuses, ear, nose, etc.) can result in secondary mild headaches. These headaches are often mild because they resolve once the underlying infection or inflammatory condition is treated.
  • Post-traumatic: Falls, injury and other traumatic events that can result in concussions can also result in mild post-traumatic headaches. These headaches, sometimes called post-concussion syndrome, can last for weeks to months after the initial injury. These headaches may be associated with dizziness, loss of concentration or memory and irritability.
  • Medication-Induced: If you already have headaches and take headache medication too often, your pain can recur more often. When headache drugs backfire, the medical term is "rebound" or "medication-overuse" headache.

Top 7 Mild Headache Causes

  1. 1.Normal Occurrence of Headache

    Headaches are extremely common & a primary reason people miss work or school. In many cases, the cause for headache is unknown.

    Your headache looks like a normal variation & can be treated at home with an over-the-counter pain reliever.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, mild headache, muscle tension, new headache
    Symptoms that always occur with normal occurrence of headache:
    headache
    Symptoms that never occur with normal occurrence of headache:
    headache resulting from a head injury, severe headache, vomiting, pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw, jaw pain, being severely ill, fever, drooping eyelid, wateriness in both eyes, unexplained limb pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Tension Headache (Previously Undiagnosed)

    Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headache. It is pain or discomfort in the head and/or neck. It is often accompanied by muscle tightness in these areas. This condition can occur as little as once a year but as often as more than 15 days per month (chronic). The cause of tension-type headaches is not clear.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. Tension-type headaches are diagnosed purely by your symptoms. Medications like over-the-counter pain killers (e.g., ibuprofen or Tylenol) may help. Be cautious with dosage and how often these are used. If these headaches become more chronic in nature, you should visit your primary care physician, who will evaluate your symptoms and may be able to prescribe a stronger medications.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    history of headaches, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, moderate headache, mild headache
    Symptoms that always occur with tension headache (previously undiagnosed):
    history of headaches
    Symptoms that never occur with tension headache (previously undiagnosed):
    change in urine color, hidden: both photo and phonophobia, throbbing headache, headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Tension Headache (First Onset)

    Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headache. It is pain or discomfort in the head and/or neck. It's often associated with muscle tightness in these areas. This condition can occur as little as once a year (infrequent) but as often as more than 15 days per month (chronic). The cause of tension-type headaches is not clear.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. Tension-type headaches are diagnosed purely by your symptoms. Medications, such as over-the-counter pain killers (e.g., ibuprofen or Tylenol) may help. However, it is important not to take them too regularly. Taking them more than two or three times a week can cause more headaches, as the body gets used to the drug, and the headache comes back when you stop taking the medication. If these headaches become more chronic in nature, you should visit your primary care physician, as chronic tension-type headaches can be more effectively treated with prescription medications and additional non-drug therapies.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    new headache, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, moderate headache, mild headache
    Symptoms that always occur with tension headache (first onset):
    new headache
    Symptoms that never occur with tension headache (first onset):
    hidden: both photo and phonophobia, throbbing headache, headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

    Mild Headache Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having mild headache.

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  4. 4.Insomnia Disorder

    Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder that prevents one from falling asleep, staying asleep, or a combination of both.

    Sleep is of critical importance to physical and mental wellbeing. You should speak with your primary care physician about your inability to sleep well. Things you can do to improve your sleep are: regular exercise, keeping a regular bedtime and routine, avoiding caffeine several hours before going to bed and putting away your electronic devices before bedtime. In addition, try to do something relaxing like reading, listening to music or breathing exercises.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, mild headache, insomnia
    Symptoms that always occur with insomnia disorder:
    insomnia
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Recurrent Tension Headache

    Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headache. It is pain or discomfort in the head and/or neck. It's often associated with muscle tightness in these areas. This condition can occur as little as once a year (infrequent) but as often as more than 15 days per month (chronic). The cause of tension-type headaches is not clear.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. Tension-type headaches are diagnosed purely by your symptoms. Medications, such as over-the-counter pain killers (e.g., ibuprofen or Tylenol) may help. However, it is important not to take them too regularly. Taking them more than two or three times a week can cause more headaches, as the body gets used to the drug, and the headache comes back when you stop taking the medication. If these headaches become more chronic in nature, you should visit your primary care physician, as chronic tension-type headaches can be more effectively treated with prescription medications and adjuvant non-drug therapies.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, moderate headache, history of headaches, loss of appetite, mild headache
    Symptoms that always occur with recurrent tension headache:
    headache
    Symptoms that never occur with recurrent tension headache:
    nausea, change in urine color, hidden: both photo and phonophobia, throbbing headache, headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.New Migraine

    Migraines are headaches of moderate to severe intensity, which happen when blood vessels in the brain swell up. They are episodic and thus can recur often. Most migraine sufferers experience increased sensitivity to sounds and/or lights and become nauseous and vomit.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. Migraines are diagnosed purely by your symptoms. Medications, such as over-the-counter pain killers (e.g., ibuprofen or Tylenol) may help. However, it is important not to take them too regularly. Taking them more than two or three times a week can cause more headaches, as the body gets used to the drug, and the headache comes back when you stop taking the medication. Talk to a doctor if you have two or more migraines each month, as there are more effective treatments for preventing migraines.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    new headache, fatigue, nausea, mild headache, sensitivity to light
    Symptoms that always occur with new migraine:
    new headache
    Symptoms that never occur with new migraine:
    fever, diarrhea, productive cough, headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Recurrent Migraine

    Migraines are headaches of moderate to severe intensity, which happen when blood vessels in the brain swell up. They are episodic and thus can recur often. Most migraine sufferers experience increased sensitivity to sounds and/or lights and become nauseous and vomit.

    Migraines are diagnosed purely by your symptoms. Talk to a doctor if you have two or more migraines each month, as there are more effective treatments for preventing migraines. Medications, such as over-the-counter pain killers (e.g., ibuprofen or Tylenol) may help. However, it is important not to take them too regularly. Taking them more than two or three times a week can cause more headaches, as the body gets used to the drug, and the headache comes back when you stop taking the medication.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, fatigue, history of headaches, nausea, mild headache
    Symptoms that always occur with recurrent migraine:
    headache, history of headaches
    Symptoms that never occur with recurrent migraine:
    fever, productive cough, headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Mild Headache Treatments and Relief

Since mild primary headaches are often be triggered-related, try these at home-remedies and lifestyle changes to combat your mild headache symptoms:

  • Decrease stress : Reducing stress is much easier said than done, but taking up activities such as yoga or meditation can give you the tools to help deal with life's stressors in healthy ways

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Trading in beverages such as caffeine or alcohol for water can go a long way in helping to reduce mild primary headaches.

  • Get adequate sleep: A good night's rest is the brain's way of recovering each day in order to work well the next. Your brain can manifest its exhaustion and lack of recovery in the form of mild headaches.

However, if mild headache symptoms begin to disrupt your life, or you find that you need to take medication for your headaches more than twice a week, see your doctor.

This might be a sign of an underlying medical condition that requires professional attention.

  • In the case of medication-induced headaches, work with your doctor to find the right treatment. Your doctor may change your medication or reduce the current medications you take.
  • Anti-inflammatory. If your headaches are the result of inflammatory conditions, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications to combat your mild headache symptoms.

If you experience, abrupt, severe headache or headache with a fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness or speaking difficulties, your headache is not considered "mild" and you must get medical attention immediately. These symptoms could be signs of serious conditions such as stroke or meningitis.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Mild Headache

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Have you lost your appetite recently?
  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our mild headache symptom checker.

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Mild Headache Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced mild headache have also experienced:

    • 6% Fatigue
    • 4% Nausea
    • 4% Vaginal Bleeding
  • People who have experienced mild headache had symptoms persist for:

    • 51% Less Than a Day
    • 28% Less Than a Week
    • 8% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced mild headache were most often matched with:

    • 16% Normal Occurrence of Headache
    • 7% Tension Headache (Previously Undiagnosed)
    • 1% Tension Headache (First Onset)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Mild Headache Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having mild headache.

Take a quiz