Visual Migraine Language (VML): Simplified data entry

VML translates more than 70 migraine-related factors into icons that make data entry fast and easy, compared to text-based interfaces.

Migraine

Measure­ment of migraine

Start time of headache
This icon refers to the start time of your headache, or the wakie up time if you woke up with a headache.
Ongoing headache
If a user starts entering a headache while it is still ongoing, we capture its duration at a later stage. This icon represents our question about whether the headache was ongoing at the time of input.
Stop time of headache
This is the time when your headache completely resolve, or the time you went to sleep with your headache still present. Duration is one of the features is factored to separate migraines from other headaches.
Peak severity
Maximum level of pain for the headache or migraine.
Pain location
Location of the pain is used to separate migraines from other headaches.
Type of pain
The nature of pain is used to separate migraines from other headaches.

Symptoms

Activity aggravation
A headache that worsens with activity which is represented by this pictogram; this is a trait that migraines often have.
Nausea or vomiting
Nausea or vomiting took place during a headache, which can be a differentiating symptom for migraine.
Aura
Aura ocurred for this headache. Aura are specific symptoms that occur just before the pain of a migraine attack, usually taking 5-20 minutes to develop and lasting less than 60 minutes. Aura includes strange sensations which are often, but not always, visual such as: blind spots, blindness in half of your visual field in one or both eyes, seeing zigzag patterns, seeing flashing lights, skin prickling, feeling of weakness, hallucinations (seeing things that aren't really there). Although they may be alarming, aura are not dangerous.
Physician visit
Today's headache lead to a physician visit (primary or neurologist) - ER visits are considered through a different icon.
ER visit
Headache forced you to visit the Emergency Room.

MIDAS Questions ≥ 18 years old

Missed work or school
Missed work or school today because of your headache.
Reduced productivity at work/school
Productivity at work or school reduced by half or more because of your headache.
Missed household work
Household work not done today because of your headache
Reduced productivity in household work
Productivity in household work reduced by half or more because of your headache.
Missed other activities
Family, social or leisure activities missed beacuse of the headache.

PedMIDAS ≤ 17 years old

Missed school
Specific for users <18. Missed school in full today because of your headache.
Partially missed school
Specific for users <18. Missed school partially today because of your headache.
Reduced productivity at school
Specific for users <18. Functioned at less than half the regular ability at school because of the headache.
Missed home work
Specific for users <18. Unable to do things at home (chores, homework, etc) because of your headache.
Missed activities
Specific for users <18. Unable to do other social activities (play, go out, sports, etc) because of your headache.
Reduced participation in other activities
Specific for users <18. Functioned at less than half the regular ability at social activities because of the headache.

Factors

Type of day

Emotional female

Stress
Level of stress. For some people prolonged stress can trigger attacks, for others the let down from stress (e.g. at weekends or start of holidays) can trigger attacks.
Anxiety
Level of anxiety, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Irritability
Level of irritability, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Happiness
Level of happiness, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Sadness
Level of sadness, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Angriness
Level of angriness, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Boredom
Level of boredom, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Relaxation
Level of relaxedness, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.

Emotional male

Stress
Level of stress. For some people prolonged stress can trigger attacks, for others the let down from stress (e.g. at weekends or start of holidays) can trigger attacks.
Anxiety
Level of anxiety, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Irritability
Level of irritability, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Happiness
Level of happiness, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Sadness
Level of sadness, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Angriness
Level of angriness, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Boredom
Level of boredom, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.
Relaxation
Level of relaxedness, to work out what 'mood patterns' may be linked to your migraine attacks.

Sleep

Sleep duration
Sleep duration. The amount of sleep that individuals require is very variable. It is thought that less sleep than usual, and in some people more than usual, triggers migraine attacks, so we ask you to record how much sleep you have each night.
Sleep quality
Sleep quality. As well as amount, the quality of your sleep may be important, so we ask you to rate your sleep quality.
Wake refreshed
The amount of sleep that individuals require is extremely variable. It is thought that less sleep than usual, and in some people more sleep than usual, triggers migraine attacks.

Environ­mental

Light sensitivity
During migraine attacks (or before them) many people are much more sensitive than usual to bright light and it can make the pain worse. We ask about your sensitivity to light to understand is that can be a sign an upcoming migraine, for instance.
Light exposure
Exposure to light, natural or artificial, may trigger migraine in some people. We record is you were exposed to light more than usual or not.
Noise sensitivity
During migraine attacks (or before them) many people are much more sensitive than usual to noise; even moderate noise makes the pain worse. We ask about your sensitivity to noise to understand is that can be a sign an upcoming migraine, for instance.
Noise exposure
Exposure to noise may trigger migraine in some people. We record is you were exposed to noise more than usual or not.
Odor sensitivity
Prior to or during migraine attacks many people are much more sensitive than usual to smells, like perfumes, etc; even moderate scents can make the pain worse.
Odors exposure
Odors (such as perfumes, smoke) may trigger migraine in some people. We dollect information on whether you noticed or were exposed to odors more than usual today.

Lifestyle Habits (Activity)

Intense activity
Intense Activity. Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and studies show that regular exercise has beneficial effects in migraine. However in some people intense exercise appears to cause headache or migraine so we track how much moderate or more intense exercise you do each day.
Moderate activity
Moderate Activity. Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and studies show that regular exercise has beneficial effects in migraine. In some people doing less exercise than is normal for them appears to be associated with headache or migraine, although whether this is an effect of the lack of exercise or because the pre-migraine period leads to doing less exercise is not clear.

Dietary (Missed Meals)

Missed breakfast
Missed breakfast. Skipping meals can trigger, or make people more likely to have a headache or migraine. Even delayed or irregular meals can make a difference.
Missed lunch
Missed lunch. Skipping meals can trigger, or make people more likely to have a headache or migraine. Even delayed or irregular meals can make a difference.
Missed dinner
Missed dinner. Skipping meals can trigger, or make people more likely to have a headache or migraine. Even delayed or irregular meals can make a difference.
Missed other meal
Missed other meal. Skipping meals can trigger, or make people more likely to have a headache or migraine. Even delayed or irregular meals can make a difference.

Dietary (Hydration)

Dehydration
Even moderate dehydration can cause headaches and may trigger migraine attacks. Try to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, but record if you have not drunk as much as usual or feel dehydrated due to, for example, exposure to heat with excessive sweating.

Dietary (Alcohol)

Beer
Beer. Alcohol is known to cause headaches, especially if taken in higher than usual amounts. This may be because alcohol causes dehydration and/or because of certain chemicals in alcoholic drinks. Some people believe that any alcohol can trigger their migraine, while others think that only certain products, such as red wine, are triggers. To try to find out if alcohol is a trigger for you, and if so what type, record the amount and type of alcoholic drinks you drink each day.
Red wine
Red Wine. Alcohol is known to cause headaches, especially if taken in higher than usual amounts. This may be because alcohol causes dehydration and/or because of certain chemicals in alcoholic drinks. Some people believe that any alcohol can trigger their migraine, while others think that only certain products, such as red wine, are triggers. To try to find out if alcohol is a trigger for you, and if so what type, record the amount and type of alcoholic drinks you drink each day.
White wine
White Wine. Alcohol is known to cause headaches, especially if taken in higher than usual amounts. This may be because alcohol causes dehydration and/or because of certain chemicals in alcoholic drinks. Some people believe that any alcohol can trigger their migraine, while others think that only certain products, such as red wine, are triggers. To try to find out if alcohol is a trigger for you, and if so what type, record the amount and type of alcoholic drinks you drink each day.
Sparkling wine
Sparkling Wine. Alcohol is known to cause headaches, especially if taken in higher than usual amounts. This may be because alcohol causes dehydration and/or because of certain chemicals in alcoholic drinks. Some people believe that any alcohol can trigger their migraine, while others think that only certain products, such as red wine, are triggers. To try to find out if alcohol is a trigger for you, and if so what type, record the amount and type of alcoholic drinks you drink each day.
Spirits
Spirit. Alcohol is known to cause headaches, especially if taken in higher than usual amounts. This may be because alcohol causes dehydration and/or because of certain chemicals in alcoholic drinks. Some people believe that any alcohol can trigger their migraine, while others think that only certain products, such as red wine, are triggers. To try to find out if alcohol is a trigger for you, and if so what type, record the amount and type of alcoholic drinks you drink each day.

Dietary (Caffeine)

Coffee
The effects of caffeine on migraine are complex: some people think that caffeine triggers their migraine and so they try to avoid it, but for others caffeine seems to have a protective effect and taking less caffeine than usual (for example at weekends) may trigger migraines. Caffeine is even included in some migraine medications.
Tea
The effects of caffeine on migraine are complex: some people think that caffeine triggers their migraine and so they try to avoid it, but for others caffeine seems to have a protective effect and taking less caffeine than usual (for example at weekends) may trigger migraines. Caffeine is even included in some migraine medications.
Soft drinks
The effects of caffeine on migraine are complex: some people think that caffeine triggers their migraine and so they try to avoid it, but for others caffeine seems to have a protective effect and taking less caffeine than usual (for example at weekends) may trigger migraines. Caffeine is even included in some migraine medications.
Energy drinks
The effects of caffeine on migraine are complex: some people think that caffeine triggers their migraine and so they try to avoid it, but for others caffeine seems to have a protective effect and taking less caffeine than usual (for example at weekends) may trigger migraines. Caffeine is even included in some migraine medications.

Dietary (Food)

Chocolate
Chocolate is thought by some people to trigger their migraine, possibly because it contains substances such as tyramine that affect blood vessels around the brain. However it may be that the desire to eat (more than usual amounts of) chocolate is caused by other changes, such as hormones in women, that are the underlying migraine trigger. So tracking how much chocolate you eat compared to 'usual' so we can try to find out if chocolate is a trigger for you.
Tyramine
Tyramine has been touted as a trigger for a long time. It can found in protein-rich foods (proteins are strings of amino acids) that have been processed or left at room temperature: cured or leftover meats, some cheeses, some plants that lie around before being eaten (e.g. avocado), etc. Tyramine content in these kinds of foods can vary greatly depending on freshness, processing etc.
Nitrates
Nitrates are common in vegetables but health benefit appears to outweigh risk. Foods that contain nitrates as a preservative have been linked to migraine and include cured or deli meats, hot dogs and bacon.
MSG
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is also considered a trigger by some. Many foods contain some MSG, but some may have higher levels including resturant asian (especially chinese, japanese) food, other fast foods, pre-prepared stocks and soups.
Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are part of a healthy diet. However some people think that citrus fruits (and citrus fruit drinks) trigger their migraine, which is why we track this food factor too.
Artificial sweetener
Aspartame is also a commnly mentioned trigger of migraines. It is a common sweetener, often used in drinks and food especially those labelled sugar-free or low in sugar. These include: diet soft drinks and juices, some yoghurts, breakfast cereals and meal replacement products.
Salty foods
Most foods contain some salt and salt is an essential dietary component, although many of us take much more salt than we need and this can have adverse effects on our health.
Nuts
Nuts consumed as snacks, in products such as cookies, cakes, muesli, or as an ingredient in meals can be part of a healthy diet. However some people think that nuts trigger their migraines. To find out if nuts may affect your migraine, record how much nuts and nut containing products you eat compared to normal.
Onions
Cooked or raw onion as an ingredient in meals can be part of a healthy diet. However some people think that onion triggers their migraines. To find out if onion may affect your migraine, record how much onion containing products you eat compared to normal.

Nicotine

Nicotine (Smoking)
There is conflicting information about whether smoking triggers migraines. Studies suggest that smoking can increase the frequency of migraine attacks, especially if more than 5 cigarettes per day are smoked. Whether daily variations in smoking triggers specific attacks is not known. To help determine if such variation is important to you, please record how much nicotine you consume each day. Kindly note that N1-Headache recommends minimizing or eliminating smoking because of the proven long term, negative respiratory and cardiovascular impact.
Other nicotine
This includes nicotine in forms other than cigarretes:
  • cigars
  • pipes
  • chewing tobacco
  • snuff
  • electronic (vapour) cigarettes

Recreational drugs

Other

Menstruation
Many women have migraine attacks that are related to their hormonal cycle: usually attacks occur around the time of menstrual flow but can also occur mid-cycle. The menstrual cycle is thought to be the strongest single trigger but even so the relationship may be unclear because of attacks at other times or cycles during which no attacks occur. Record your menstrual cycles to find out if this is a trigger for you.
Menopause side effects
Menopause can be a difficult time for women with migraine. The irregularity of periods can make it harder to cope with migraines as they may be more difficult to predict. Also the symptoms experienced at menopause (hot flushes and night sweats) may result in disturbed sleep and add to stress levels thereby increasing the likelihood of experiencing a migraine.
Sexual activity
Sexual activity has been reported both to help (an ongoing) migraine, possibly by release of endorphins at orgasm, while in other people sexual activity can trigger a migraine. Sexual activity includes:
  • foreplay
  • masturbation
  • intercourse
Record sexual activity to find out if this may be a trigger for you.
Hunger
Abnormal hunger (without skipping meals) may be a warning sign of an attack so we track it to see if it truly precedes a migraine in you.
Yawning
Excessive yawning may be a warning sign of an attack so we track it to see if it truly precedes a migraine in you.
Poor concentration
Difficulty concentrating may be a warning sign of an attack so we track it to see if it truly precedes a migraine in you.

Travel

Car
Travel, particularly if it is more than usual for you, is known to trigger migraines in some people. This may be because travel causes stress, missed meals or irregular eating, dehydration, disrupted sleep patterns or (for air travel) changes in atmospheric pressure. Record your travel patterns to find out if this a trigger for you.
Plane
Travel, particularly if it is more than usual for you, is known to trigger migraines in some people. This may be because travel causes stress, missed meals or irregular eating, dehydration, disrupted sleep patterns or (for air travel) changes in atmospheric pressure. Record your travel patterns to find out if this a trigger for you.
Train
Travel, particularly if it is more than usual for you, is known to trigger migraines in some people. This may be because travel causes stress, missed meals or irregular eating, dehydration, disrupted sleep patterns or (for air travel) changes in atmospheric pressure. Record your travel patterns to find out if this a trigger for you.
Motorcycle
Travel, particularly if it is more than usual for you, is known to trigger migraines in some people. This may be because travel causes stress, missed meals or irregular eating, dehydration, disrupted sleep patterns or (for air travel) changes in atmospheric pressure. Record your travel patterns to find out if this a trigger for you.
Ship
Travel, particularly if it is more than usual for you, is known to trigger migraines in some people. This may be because travel causes stress, missed meals or irregular eating, dehydration, disrupted sleep patterns or (for air travel) changes in atmospheric pressure. Record your travel patterns to find out if this a trigger for you.
Timezones crossed
Travel, particularly if it is more than usual for you, is known to trigger migraines in some people. This may be because travel causes stress, missed meals or irregular eating, dehydration, disrupted sleep patterns or (for air travel) changes in atmospheric pressure. Record your travel patterns to find out if this a trigger for you.

Custom factors

Custom factor 1
In addition to our curated list of possible factors, we also give you the option to enter personal factors not in our list.
Custom factor 2
In addition to our curated list of possible factors, we also give you the option to enter personal factors not in our list.
Custom factor 3
In addition to our curated list of possible factors, we also give you the option to enter personal factors not in our list.

Warning signs

Tiredness / fatigue
Feeling more tired and lifeless (fatigued) than usual may be a sign of a developing migraine attack in some people and/or a symptom of an attack in others.
Eyestrain
Eyestrain ('tired eyes', 'black circles') is thought to be more common in some people just before they have a migraine attack. By recording this you can find out if this is a reliable indicator of an attack about to happen, so helping you more effectively manage your life around your attacks.
Neck pain
Neck pain and stiffness can occur before a migraine, but it is not clear if it is a trigger or a warning sign. For some people neck massage can help relieve the neck pain and maybe help avoid the migraine.
Skin sensitivity
Sensitivity of the skin, especially of the head and neck can be a warning sign of an attack.

Missed medication

Missed migraine medication
Various drugs can be prescribed to reduce the number of migraine attacks. Record if you missed taking any daily medication that your doctor had prescribed for treatment of your migraine.
Other missed medication
Record if you missed taking any other daily medication that your doctor had prescribed for treatment of any other condition, as this may affect your migarine too.
Acute medication for headache
Tracking your headache medicines is important as your medicines may not be working or may actually be causing you headaches.
People who use acute pain-relief medicine more than two or three times a week or more than 10 days out of the month can set off a cycle called ‘medication-overuse headaches’.
Contraceptive pill
Many women have migraine attacks that are related to their hormonal cycle, and contraceptive pills alter your natural hormonal cycle; therefore can be the cause of your headaches. Adding this information will enable your doctor to discuss options if your headaches are caused by your contraceptive pill.
Hormone therapy
Migraine attacks can be related to hormonal levels and cycles, and hormone replacement therapy alter your natural hormonal levels; therefore can be the cause of your headaches.

Weather

Time outdoors
Some weather factors, such as temperature and humidity, may only be important of you spend time outdoors, so record how much time each day you are outside (exposed to the weather).
Humidity
Weather factors and changes in these have been linked to migraine. We collect weather data using your phone location.
Pressure
Weather factors and changes in these have been linked to migraine. We collect weather data using your phone location.
Temperature
Weather factors and changes in these have been linked to migraine. We collect weather data using your phone location.
Wind gust
Weather factors and changes in these have been linked to migraine. We collect weather data using your phone location.
Wind speed
Weather factors and changes in these have been linked to migraine. We collect weather data using your phone location.
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