Tracking Your Bouts Can Help Your Doctor Help You
One of the most helpful things you can do is keep a headache diary. In fact, the National Headache Foundation recommends keeping a headache diary to track the characteristics of your headaches.
Each time you get a headache, jot down these details. Helping to identify patterns from your headache diary may help your healthcare provider determine which type of cluster headache you have and the most beneficial treatments.
- Date. Tracking the date and time of each headache can help you recognize patterns.
- Duration. How long does each headache last?
- Intensity. On a scale from 1 to 10, rate your headache pain with 10 being the most severe.
- Triggers. List possible triggers that might have caused your headache. Time of day, season or sleeping. Does drinking alcohol, smoking, eating certain foods, sounds, odors, physical activity or oversleeping.
- Symptoms. Did you have any symptoms before the headache, such as plugged nose?
- Agitation. How you behave during an attack? Can’t stop moving?
- Medications. List all medication you’re currently taking, even if they’re unrelated to your headache.
- Relief. Have you had any pain relief, from complete pain relief to none?
- Personal Burden. Have you missed work, unable to leave home, bed-bound?
Download a copy of our headache diary here. Make additional copies and be sure to answer the questions every time you have a headache. Show your healthcare provider your diary during your next appointment.