[iPhone] Learn what causes of your headaches with My Migraine Triggers

mzl.pfxqpkpi.320x480-75If you’ve never had a migraine, count your blessings. I started getting them in college, and sometimes have them 4 times a month now. The pain can be enough to bring me to tears, while the nausea and sensitivity to light make me feel like a monster. I’ve mostly got my environmental and dietary triggers pinned down at this point, which is a great help in preventing really bad headaches. If you’re a migraine sufferer (or even a tension headache sufferer) looking for answers, My Migraine Triggers may help you determine what sets off the fireworks in your head. This app was developed by Novartis, the makers of Excedrin® Migraine.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

My Migraine Triggers presents a series of daily questions to users. The answers to these questions are then logged and graphed, helping users to see whether their headaches have a specific dietary, environmental, or medical trigger. Having this “headache diary” can also help in conversations with your doctor when discussing your treatment options.

Pros

  • Extremely simple to use: just fill out a quick questionnaire each day
  • Lots of helpful info about migraines, migraine triggers, coping with migraines, and more
  • Filter your data by date: look at causes for the last few days, weeks, or months
  • Print or email your log and results to share with your doctor to better diagnose and treat your migraines

Cons

  • The app isn’t smart enough to rule certain triggers out on its own (more explanation below)
  • Headache duration and start times are all rounded to the hour
  • Just updated in Jan 25, 2013, but still no iPhone 5 optimization

Discussion

mzl.sbzstaty.320x480-75Only 11% of migraine sufferers regularly track their symptoms and possible triggers. This app will probably do a lot to increase that number, since it is so simple to use. But despite tracking a ton of information, this app is not yet perfect.

The app isn’t smart enough to rule certain triggers out on its own. For example, I told it that I got a headache at 8 am that lasted til 9 am, and skipped breakfast. Later in the day, I did have a slice of pepperoni pizza, and logged that. The app suggested the processed meat on the pizza could be to blame…for a headache I woke up with. I hadn’t had any processed meats 48 hours prior to the headache. Clearly, there is some room to fine tune this app.

That being said, this app does track a ton of info, including your stress levels and food intake. It also tracks if you have been skipping meals, as well as environmental factors like exposure to smog, perfume, flashing lights, or temperature changes. It also catalogs symptoms like weakness and fatigue, which are actually precursors, rather than symptoms during a migraine event.

Conclusion and download link

Being more self-aware is the best defense against the agony of a migraine. Learning what brings them on can help you to avoid that searing pain in your skull. I appreciate that all of the advertising about Excedrin is isolated to a single tab, rather than through every page of the app. If you suffer from migraines, tracking your diet and life experiences every day is essential, since triggers can take up to 48 hours to manifest as a headache.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.1

Requires iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, iOS 6.0 or later

Download size: 2.8 MB

My Migraine Triggers on Apple App Store

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