Headaches are among the most common complaints, affecting both adults and children. It has been estimated that 90% of the entire world population has experienced at least a headache at some point. Severe headaches can be accompanied by additional symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light, influencing the overall quality of life.
There are different factors that contribute to the appearance of headaches – generally known as triggers – including the prolonged screen time, stress and pre-existent conditions. Recurring headaches must be investigated, as they can be a sign of brain tumors or other serious conditions. Monitoring one’s symptoms can be useful in finding out more information on the underlying cause.
CareClinic, the health app that can be used as a headache diary
If you are experiencing headaches on a regular basis, you might want to consider using CareClinic’s health app as your very own headache diary. This application allows you to keep track of your symptoms and various treatments, creating monthly reports based on your entries. These reports can be further shared with healthcare professionals and used for treatment adjustment.
Every time you experience a headache, you should enter the date and time into the application, as well as the additional symptoms, potential triggers and remedies you tried (medication, other treatments, alternative solutions, etc.). By keeping track of when the headaches occur, as well as on the location of the pain, duration and intensity, you will be able to form a clear image about your condition.
A headache journal can help you identify the type of headache you suffer from. For example, you can use it to make the difference between recurring migraines and tension headaches. As you will also enter the treatment, you will be able to see which medication brings you the most effective pain relief. You will be able to improve your condition and keep track of potential triggers, reducing the risk of future headaches.
It is recommended that you make an effort and record every symptom you are experiencing on the spot. Do not rely on your memory at the end of the day, as you might not remember everything about the headache or the factors that contributed to it in the first place.
When recording your symptoms into the application, do not hesitate to be as specific as you possibly can. Describe your pain using words such as “throbbing”, “sharp”, “dull” or “pulsating”, as well as the other manifestations, such as nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light (R). Mention the presence of aura as well, as this is quite important, and describe your mood. Provide details on your menstrual cycle, as this element can have a significant influence on your headaches.
Application recommended to those who are prone to headaches
You can trust CareClinic’s health app as your headache log, getting a better understanding of your symptoms and developing a treatment plan that actually works. The application is more than recommended to those who are prone to headaches and it can be used to identify potential causes, as well as the methods to prevent such complaints.
If you have already been prescribed a treatment by your physician, you can record it within the application. As you will keep track of your symptoms and begin to notice patterns, you will also be able to determine whether the current treatment works or not. As mentioned, you can take the reports created by the application to the doctor and discuss both the treatment, and potential triggers.
Find out what triggers your headaches
There are numerous factors that can cause headaches to appear but we rarely have the time or patience to keep track of them. By entering how you felt each time a headache occurred, you might find it easier to identify triggers. For example, a migraine headache can be triggered by weather conditions, while the tension headache is most likely to be caused by prolonged screen time, anxiety or stress.
Weather tracking is more important than you might think, as the slightest change in barometric pressure can trigger a headache. You can use CareClinic to record weather changes and even set up alerts for the changes in the forecast. Thus, when it is windy outside, you will know to stay in, in order to prevent another sinus headache.
You might be surprised to discover that certain factors can cause headaches, even though you did not think this to be possible. For example, did you know that chemicals or preservatives used in food can lead to headaches? Or that migraines can be triggered by loud noises or bright light? It is important to be aware of these factors, as they can guide you towards the best preventative measures.
Identifying the correlation between sleep and headaches
Sleep deprivation is one of the main factors that can contribute to the appearance of headaches. CareClinic’s health app allows you to keep track of your sleep patterns so that you can easily identify a correlation between sleep and headaches.
Recording your treatments within the application
When you suffer from chronic headaches, it can be difficult to keep track of all the medication and other treatments. In order to make things easier, you can record your entire treatment plan into the CareClinic application. This will allow you to see which treatment works the best and make the necessary adjustments with our doctor.
Apart from the actual medication (ibuprofen, acetaminophen), you can record alternative therapies which have brought you relief from the symptoms experienced. For example, acupressure often helps in case of minor headaches, providing excellent pain relief (R). You can also record herbal remedies, as well as beverages that are helpful (tea, coffee, etc.).
If you have been prescribed a lot of drugs to handle your headache, you might have difficulties remembering which medication to take and when. With the help of CareClinic, you can easily set up reminders for various drugs and take them accordingly. For each medication, in particular, you can also choose the dose and there is even a snooze feature, which will keep on reminding you to take your medication (in case of missed doses).
Calendar view of your headaches
The application allows you to see your headaches in calendar view so that you can measure the impact of such symptoms on your life. You will be able to see how many headaches have occurred over a period of time, as well as how many days have passed since the last headache or the average severity & duration.
The calendar view can help you see which symptoms are associated with each type of headache, plus the various triggers that can contribute to their appearance (stress, anxiety). Within the calendar, you can easily add new headaches and identify potential negative patterns. Of course, the calendar can be used for prevention purposes as well.
Symptom analysis – emergency or not?
By introducing your symptoms into CareClinic’s health app, not only you will get a clear view of your condition but you will be able to decide in an instant when a situation requires emergency care.
For example, a severe headache that continues to persist or even aggravate, can be suggestive of a brain tumor – and this is a situation that might require emergency intervention. The same goes for meningitis, an infectious condition which is accompanied by severe headaches, fever and sensitivity to light (R).
User-friendly interface makes the application easy to use
People of all ages can experience headaches, seeking out relief from the headache itself and the associated symptoms. CareClinic has been developed so as to be used by anyone, regardless of age, gender or occupation. It has a user-friendly interface, being easy to use and quite effective – including during an actual attack. It is the perfect headache tracker, delivering information on the location and time of occurrence, as well as duration and intensity.
The app has been developed for all major platforms, including Android and iOS. You can download it on your iPhone and benefit from its full range of features, as well as on any other smartphone that has the previously-mentioned operating system. For those who prefer using a computer, there is a web version available as well.
Self-monitoring through the headache diary
The developments in smartphone technology have led to the appearance of health apps, such as CareClinic. These can be used, among other things, as headache diaries, allowing people to monitor their condition.
Using a headache diary, one can get a better understanding with regard to his/her complaints and manage the condition more effectively. Moreover, the application – through its reports – can provide healthcare professionals with relevant data (regarding treatment, triggers and so on).
Doctors have long recommended people to keep a headache diary, as it helped them assess the impact of the symptoms on the overall quality of life and make an accurate diagnosis, followed by adequate treatment. However, paper diaries have a reduced compliance rate, due to the fact that the information must be written by hand. Moreover, one can easily lose or forget such a diary.
An electronic diary, such as the one offered through CareClinic, is convenient and easy to access. Moreover, you have it with you all the time, which allows you to share your information with doctors and other healthcare professionals. Electronic diaries, thus, have a higher compliance rate (R).
Headaches, common medical complaints
As it was already mentioned at the beginning of the article, headaches represent a common medical complaint (R). They can affect people of various ages and occupations, being triggered by stress, anxiety and emotional distress. They can also appear as a result of underlying conditions, is known as secondary headaches. When severe, they can prevent one from enjoying life.
Primary headaches appear on their own, including migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches. As for the secondary ones, these can be caused by brain tumors, concussions, glaucoma, high blood pressure, stroke, blood clots and brain bleeding. The carbon monoxide poisoning, dehydration, alcohol abuse and panic attacks can lead to headaches as well.
The tension headache is generally felt in the neck, being either acute or chronic. The migraine, on the other hand, is defined by a pulsating or throbbing pain; it is present on one side of the head, being accompanied by aura, nausea and vomiting, lightheadedness and blurred vision. Cluster headaches appear on one side (typically around the eye), being severe and sharp in nature.
The treatment for headaches includes symptomatic medication and physical rest. Preventative solutions include antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs and beta blockers. When prescribed a treatment, it is important not to overuse it, as this can lead to rebound headaches.
Alternative treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, acupressure, herbal remedies, meditation and hypnosis. Magnesium and vitamin B supplements are recommended, as well as diet changes and increased water consumption. Ice applications can help with the symptoms, as well as eating regularly to keep blood sugar levels stable.
To get started tracking your headache, click here to sign up to CareClinic.