iHeadache is unique online tool that helps you collect headache data and create reports that you and your physician can use to determine the best course of therapy. The program uses criteria that are modified from the International Headache Society classification system to aid in the diagnosis of migraine headache, probable migraine headache, tension headache, chronic migraine headache, chronic daily headache, and medication overuse headache. Most importantly, it gathers data and prepares reports that better summarize your headache burden, aid in the determination of triggers and allows for better evaluation of your acute and preventative therapies.
Important: If this is your first time using iHeadache, you need to set up a profile for yourself before you start using the system. The profile is where you define treatments, triggers, and symptoms most relevant to you.
The iHeadache workspace
The main iHeadache workspace consists of tabs that you use to record and view headache data and set up your information in the system:
For help with iHeadache, click the Help link at the top of any screen.
When you see this icon , you can click it to display help for the current window.
Using iHeadache for the first time
Before you start recording headaches, you need to go to the My Profile tab to set up your profile. In this step you define the acute and preventative treatments you want to track, your triggers, and your symptoms. You can also add any treatments, triggers, or symptoms that are not part of the standard list. Then go to the Preventatives tab to define details about your preventative treatments.
Setting up your profile
The iHeadache system contains comprehensive lists of common treatments, triggers, and symptoms. In your profile you can specify which of these are applicable to you, so that when you enter headache data, your drop-down lists show only what you need. You also set up your own treatments, triggers and symptoms and they will be available to you in your lists as well. You also define application preferences that are used for headache classification and reports. Click the My Profile tab to set up your preferences and complete each of the views.
Tip:On each window, you can click to show detailed help.
Adding a New Headache
Customizing your Dashboard
The Dashboard is where you go for summary information about your headaches. The main Dashboard view shows types of headaches, as a color-coded graph, and the days you recorded having headaches. Other views let you see more details related to your headaches, such as symptoms and treatments. The information shown on all of your Dashboard views comes from the headaches you've recorded. The Dashboard is flexible and can be organized to display information that's most important to you.
On the main Dashboard view, Headache Types is a chart that summarizes the headaches you've recorded. The headache types are color-coded so you can see at a glance what kinds of headaches you experienced during the timeframe you chose and how many headaches you had. Headache Days is a chart showing the proportion of headache-free days compared to days you had headaches. By default, the most recent twelve months of headache data is shown, but you can display data for a different timeframe. Learn more
To select a different timeframe, types the dates in the From: and To: fields, or click the small calendar icons and select the dates on the calendar that appears. Use the arrow keys to move through the months. The standard view is by calendar month, but iHeadache can display your data organized by week, 28 days, 30 days, or quarter. Select the view you prefer in the Graph by: field and click the Refresh button to show the updated view.
The other views show more information related to your headaches, such as treatments and triggers. You can attach charts from any of these other views to your main Dashboard. Click the pushpin icon, located in the top right corner. That section will appear on your main Dashboard view.
You can customize the data that is shown in the Headache Types, Days, or other charts you have pinned to your Dashboard.Learn more
Charts that have a legend and keys can be customized. Clicking a key in the legend alternates between hiding and displaying that data in the chart. For example, in the Headache Types chart you might want to see all your headaches except migraines. When you click the Migraines key in the legend it becomes grayed out, and the chart automatically adjusts itself to show only those headaches that were not classified as migraines. When you click the key again, migraines reappear on the chart.
|Migraines, shown in red, are included until you click the Migraines key in the legend.||Migraines are excluded from the chart. Click the Migraines key again to show them.|
Setting up your preventative treatments
A preventative treatment is one that you take on a regular basis to prevent headaches, as opposed to one that you take once a headache starts. A preventative treatment is a medication you take regularly to help prevent headaches. Procedures such as Botox® injections, nerve blocks and some weekly or monthly drug infusions are also considered preventative treatments because they are meant to last a certain period of time and help prevent headaches.
Defining your preventative treatments is a two-step process. iHeadache provides a list of common treatments that have been shown to prevent headaches. You are probably only taking a few of these. Instead of having to scroll through the entire list of treatments every time you add a headache, you define just the ones you want to track and these are the options that appear on your drop-down lists. iHeadache also tracks the dose and when you started or stopped taking a medication, so you need to define this information as well.
Step 1: Define the preventative treatments you want to track on your profile.
Step 2: Define details about the preventative treatments.
Adding custom treatments and triggers
iHeadache has extensive lists of standard treatments and triggers, but if something is not listed, you can add your own.
Viewing your headaches
There are several ways you can see the headaches you've entered:
From the My Diary tab:
In the calender window, days that have a headache entry are marked with . When you click the a list of the headaches recorded for that day appears. When you click a headache on the list, details appear in the information window and Headache Summary section of the dairy.
Tip:Click to make changes to a headache.
From the Dashboard:
The Monthly Calendars view shows an overview of the headaches that have been recorded. Headaches are color-coded so you can see at a glance what kinds of headaches you entered. This view is an overview only and does not display details. When you open this view, the past twelve months of headache data is shown. You can show headache data for a different timeframeby selecting the months in the From: and To: fields and clicking Refresh.
From the Calendar Tab:
The Calendar tab is a detailed calendar view of your headaches for a timeframe you choose. The calendar has a daily, weekly and monthly view. To see your headache information for a particular day, you can jump directly to a specific date on the calender. Type the date in the Jump to field, or click the calendar icon and select the date from the calendar pop-up that appears. Click Go. You can also click Go To Today if you are viewing another day's headache, and can click the arrows to go forward and backward through the calendar.
To show details about a headache, such as the pain you experienced, start time, or treatments, find the headache in the monthly view and click More.
Tip: You can click a headache to make changes to it.
Making changes to a headache
There are different ways you can locate an existing headache to update it.
From the My Diary tab:
From the Calendar tab:
From the headache log:
Printing Headache Information
On the My Diary tab, use the small monthly calendar in the top left corner to go to the day the headache occurred. The headache icon indicates a headache was recorded on that day. Click a headache icon to show a list of the headaches you recorded for that day, then click the headache you want to print. Information about the headache appear in Headache Summary section. Click the Print icon.
Deleting a headache
Deleting a headache is not recommended. However, you can delete a headache if you're certain you really want to.
Sharing headache data with your doctor
The physicians that you have added to your profile can access your records in iHeadache. To be added to your profile, the physician must first be registered in iHeadache, and once they are you can share your data with them. The physicians that you add to your profile can cut and paste data or import entire reports to their Electronic Medical Records (EMR). iHeadache sends the providers you add an email, notifying them that you asked to give them access to your data. They can confirm or decline you as their patient. Once the doctor has confirmed you as a patient, you can begin sharing data.
You can use iHeadache to create reports of your headaches. If you have given your physician permission to access your data in iHeadache he or she can generate reports, which they can copy and past into their Electronic Medical Records (EMR).To be able to give your physician or health care provider access to your iHeadache data, the physician must be registered in the iHeadache system and you must add them to your profile.
Updating your personal information
You can update your contact information and date of birth.
Changing your password
For security, you should change your iHeadache password occasionally.
Types of headaches
There are two types of Migraines: Classic and Common. Classic migraines affect approximately 15% of migraine sufferers. With this type of headache, patients experience a temporary neurological symptoms called an aura. The most common auras are:
Diagnosis of classic migraine requires at least 2 attacks that include 3 of the following characteristics:
A common migraine is a migraine without the aura. To be diagnosed as a migraine, the headache must last at least 4 hours and be accompanied by either nausea, possibly with vomiting, and photophobia (lights seem unusually bright) or phonophobia (sounds seem unusually loud). Common migraines also have at least two of the following characteristics:
Probable Migraine is a headache that is probably a migraine, but is missing one of the elements necessary for diagnosis of migraine.
Tension headaches are intermittent. You may feel like your head is in a vice or that there is a band of pain around your head. With tension headaches, the pain does no throb, there is no nausea and you are not sensitive to light or noise. It may interfere with your ability to function but probably does not incapacitate you.
iHeadache labels headaches as Unclassified when they do not meet the criteria for one of the above types of headaches. There are other types of headaches, such as cluster headaches, that iHeadache does not support. Headaches can also be a symptom of another unrelated and possibly severe illness, so it's important that you have your headaches evaluated by a doctor. It's important to record the most complete information that you can so that iHeadache can make an accurate classification.
The MIDAS Scale
iHeadache uses a disability survey similar to the Migraine Disability Assessment Scale (MIDAS) to assess the severity of your disability. The MIDAS tries to determine how many days of your life were affected by headaches to the point that you were unable to participate in your normal activities. Note that the MIDAS has not been validated for use in a real-time disability tracking application such as iHeadache. MIDAS takes into account the past three months of data, which is usually recalled after the fact. Because iHeadache allows you to track your disability in real-time, the results are likely to be more accurate.
The MIDAS Scale
I Minimal or infrequent disability 0-5
II Mild or infrequent disability 6-10
III Moderate disability 11-20
IV Severe disability 21+
MIDAS Test Questions