An estimated 45 million people in the United States suffer from chronic headaches and more than 30 million people will experience a migraine headache. Diagnosing and treating headaches can be tricky, though, because the key to treatment is finding your triggers, things like stress, certain foods, and environmental factors.
To narrow things down, the National Institutes of Health’s MedlinePlus recommends keeping a headache diary with the following information:
- The date and time the headache began
- What you ate for the past 24 hours
- How long you slept the night before
- What you were doing and thinking about just before the headache started
- Any stress in your life
- How long the headache lasted
- What you did to make it stop
Now there are apps for both the iPhone and Android that make it easy to track your headaches and potential triggers, at home or on the go. These are my picks:
Migraine sufferers can open this app and “start a headache,” inputting things like symptoms, duration and severity, impact on daily life, medication used, as well as any triggers. After recording the details from headaches you can generate reports that classify them into types and even a get a Migraine Disability Assessment Score (MIDAS). Free on iTunes.
When you start a new migraine entry in Migraine Notebook, by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, it asks you to indicate where your pain is located, and asks for other symptoms such as sensitivity to light or throbbing. The headache journal displays an at-a-glance calendar that instantly tells you which days you were in pain, in what areas, and what symptoms you were experiencing. Free on iTunes.
Headache Diary Pro
Track your headaches by type, severity and add notes about triggers and the remedies you used. You can check to see how effective your medication has been on easy to read charts. Plus, you can export all the data to a file you can send to your doctor. $3.08 on Android Market.
My Migraine Log Pro
For each headache, you can input the date and time, severity, medication time and dose, plus notes. These can all be viewed in charts and graphs, so you can more easily pinpoint patterns. You can also email your data to your doctor from within the app. $2.55 on Android Market