Apps for people to record details of headaches and migraines.
Recording details of your headaches can help you recognise triggers, patterns and warning signs, assess whether treatments are working for you and improve communication with your doctor by giving a more accurate description of your symptoms. This can be done by keeping a paper diary, or more recently with the use of migraine and headache apps on mobile phones.
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How to describe your headaches
The following are examples of details you may want to record about your headaches and migraines.
- Where is the pain? such as on one side or both, behind the eye(s), forehead
- How severe are they? (on a scale of 1 to 10; read more about describing your pain)
- What do they feel like? such as vice-like, stabbing, throbbing, splitting
- How long do they last? (minutes, hours or days)
- How often do they occur? (daily, monthly, only on weekends or weekdays)
- When do they occur? (on waking, in the afternoon)
- When did they begin? (childhood, adolescence, middle age)
- What triggers them? isuch as some foods, alcohol, caffeine, exertion, noise, bright light, hunger, stress, tiredness, weather
- What else do you feel? such as neck or shoulder tension, sinus pain, tender scalp
- Is your vision affected? such as blind spots, strange lights or patterns
- What treatment did you take
- How effective is the treatment (or isn’t).
The following references relate to articles about apps for headaches and migraines:
- Hundert AS, Huguet A, McGrath PJ, et al. Commercially Available Mobile Phone Headache Diary Apps: A Systematic Review. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2014 Aug 19;2(3):e36.
- Mosadeghi-Nik M, Askari MS, Fatehi F. Mobile health (mHealth) for headache disorders: A review of the evidence base. J Telemed Telecare. 2016 Dec;22(8):472-477.
- Huguet A, Stinson J, Mackay B et al. Bringing psychosocial support to headache sufferers using information and communication technology: lessons learned from asking potential users what they want. Pain Res Manag. 2014 Jan-Feb;19(1):e1-8.
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