r/dataisbeautiful OC: 20 Oct 11 '21 Take My Energy 2 Heartwarming 1 Silver 6 Helpful 3 Wholesome 4 Hugz 6 All-Seeing Upvote 1

[OC] What triggers/improves my headaches - I tracked some of my daily factors in addition to headache severity for a year to find correlations OC

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17.5k Upvotes

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2.1k

u/just_speculating Oct 11 '21

It looks like your headaches might be related to eye-strain. It could be worth it to have an optometrist check if you need glasses.

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u/achoo1210 Oct 11 '21

As someone who only found out I needed glasses as an adult, this is exactly what I thought when I saw this data.

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u/xelaglol Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

Dude i get headaches at random while gaming i went to the doctor he said i have 10/10 wtf do i do

EDIT2: For any american waking up, 10/10 is 20/20. You know, like in the rest of the world. Sigh.

EDIT: Thank you to all the kind people helping, yes I've tried using the blue light reduction filters and i do stay hydrated

I will probably ask again to see a doctor for computer glasses, a specific type of glasses people told me (not gunnars)

Thank you very much and as i can see from the upvotes and the people replying saying they have the same, this is a real popular problem science should focus on

Thank you all have a great day :)

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u/mrknoot Oct 11 '21

Try to blink more. I legit had this problem and it was basically because of dry eyes. My eyes went dry because I was so focused on the game I forgot to blink. It is very silly, but it happens

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u/danielv123 Oct 11 '21

Had the same thing, apparently due to a lack of B vitamins. Started supplements and it was basically gone over the weekend.

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u/robot65536 Oct 11 '21

I've known people with both B vitamin (nerve issues) and iron deficiencies (lightheaded, poor memory). Definitely simple to solve when you know what to do.

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u/mere_iguana Oct 11 '21

Gran Turismo 2 endurance races, just tears streaming down my face because my eyes dried out from not blinking, but too invested in the race to even pause and dry my face off. That shit's real.

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u/cookietimecookie Oct 11 '21

This was literally my sister when she would play guitar hero. She wouldn't blink throughout the whole song just so she wouldn't miss a colour. At the end of every song she'd have a full face of tears.

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u/pjijn Oct 11 '21

And then boom you make a mistake towards the end of the race and have to restart

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u/EGH6 Oct 11 '21

i used to start these at around 1am. my brain would shut down on autopilot. i would sorta wake up at around 3:30 with a new best lap

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u/Saith_Cassus Oct 11 '21

I’m in the boat where I know I’ll forget to blink (battle for middle earth used to be the worst for it), but I’m never able to realize it until I go “wow, my eyes really burn!”

I’ve had to swap over to more casual, turn-based games to avoid it. Of course, now that just means I make all new bad choices like staying up too late playing Civ

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u/blazetronic Oct 11 '21

If you don’t blink enough your glands die forever and you can’t produce that shit on your own

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u/aris_ada Oct 11 '21

Did you have a test with eye corrections? You can have a very good eyesight while still needing correction. I did the test because my eyes were hurting a bit after long weeks of work, I got a pair of glasses, 6 months later did another test, now I'm having +0.75L +1.50R. I was just stressing my eyes the whole time.

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u/xelaglol Oct 11 '21

Could you explain what that is, i don't know in English what eye correction means

I did the "looking at pictures" test and the standard "tell me the letter covering your eyes"

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u/aris_ada Oct 11 '21

Did you have to wear glasses when doing that test? Eye correction means the type of glasses you have to wear. It is possible to have perfect eyesight and still need glasses.

During that test, the doctor gives you various glasses to wear or put you behind a machine that changes them automatically. You tell when you see better or worse.

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u/SpaTowner Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

It is possible to have perfect eyesight and still need glasses.

Sorry, can you explain this bit. Why might perfect eyesight still need corrective lenses. What’s to correct if it’s perfect?

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u/LightNightmare Oct 11 '21

They might mean astigmatism? Maybe?

You're basically neither nearsighted nor farsighted, but you still need corrective glasses.

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u/Hexegesis Oct 11 '21

You absolutely do not have perfect eyesight with an astigmatism.

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u/LightNightmare Oct 11 '21

Oh, of course you don't!

I'm sorry if it sounded wrong, didn't want to imply that it was perfect eyesight.

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u/ManWithKeyboard Oct 11 '21

I think he might mean that his eyes are "naturally" nearsighted/farsighted but he just uses his eye muscles to "correct" them the way glasses do, which results in perfect vision but stressed/overworked eye muscles? Not sure

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u/Plastic_Pinocchio Oct 11 '21

I’m pretty sure that a doctor takes this into account. If not, then what do they even do?

Also, this doesn’t work for nearsightedness. It’s physically impossible to correct that by focusing.

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u/aris_ada Oct 11 '21

That's what I meant. Being able to read all the letters on the wall does not mean you shouldn't wear glasses. Symptoms include headaches, eye fatigue, difficulty to read right after waking up or when tired. In my case I have hyperopia.

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u/TheMrCeeJ Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

You can correct with sight eye strain and pass the tests, but prolonged use causes fatigue, and you guessed it, headaches.

Also blue light can be an issue with long screen time (especially phones) so try a sunset colour changer, worked really well for a colleagues migraines.

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u/SpaTowner Oct 11 '21

You can correct with sight eye strain and pass the tests

Still don’t know what this means I’m afraid. What is ‘correcting with sight eye strain’?

try a sunset cookout changer

If I knew what one was, I might.

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u/TheMrCeeJ Oct 11 '21

Sorry, a typo. I meant color charger.

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u/xelaglol Oct 11 '21

Ah no i did not do that

If you're talking about this as well, doctor said it "wasn't needed"

Should i ask to do that? I have always wondered if i needed "computer glasses", but all the doctors just went nah lol

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u/gay_joey Oct 11 '21

you should get your vision fully checked and there's nothing wrong with wearing things like gunners. they reduce eye strain and won't hurt, so you should look into them. if you actually do need a prescription to fix astigmatism or something, that's what a full vision check will find out for you

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u/xelaglol Oct 11 '21

I've the blue filter on in everywhere i have, even now lol

Yeah i just went a few years ago and they all went "everything's fine" because of course it is...should just ask for a full check up

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u/Coral_Wizard Oct 11 '21

Computer glasses are just blue light filters. I don't recommend buying them, you can just adjust the screen settings for the same effect

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u/xelaglol Oct 11 '21

Nono i meant more of a "glasses for when i used the computer", not the famous gunnars lol

Maybe i don't notice the need of them during the day is the thing but at computers i get headaches, so maybe i needed them for then

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u/Affugter Oct 11 '21

Bad doctor. Bad! Now sit in the corner and thing about what you did.

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u/xelaglol Oct 11 '21

Yeah...as i went to more doctors, i noticed you literally have to convince them to do something or they'll just say "it's nothing" lol

Then you find the good ones and it's heaven

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u/Justisaur Oct 11 '21

If you're on PC a better monitor & graphics card if you don't have a good ones. You want to be able to run high refresh rate, as if you're running the usual 60 Hz you may be be able to see the flicker which has been known to cause headaches. People have reported even 120 Hz may cause headaches though less severe, 144 Hz seems to work for almost everyone. Even if you don't 'see' them your eye & brain may be picking them up and causing the headaches. You can also try low power/night modes/turning down brightness.

Unfortunately I think you're screwed in that respect if you're on consoles, but I'm not a console gamer so I can't say for sure.

If you have any CFL lightbulbs around replace them as well as they do flicker and there were lots of reports from people working in offices with fluorescents of headaches from them. Even LEDs flicker though much faster and generally don't cause problems, you may even want trying to replace with an incandescent as they have no flicker. Or natural lighting of course.

Don't game in the dark in any case as that'll make any flicker from monitors more visible and more likely to cause headaches.

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u/danielv123 Oct 11 '21

LEDs with some incandescent dimmers flicker and its super trippy.

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u/xelaglol Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

Ehi i'm on PC too, i have actually a 120hz and yes i noticed it caused more headaches AT FIRST, i haven't tried 144hz uhm

I replaced with LED but it happens during the day as well

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u/Unsafewater Oct 11 '21

I also get random headaches when gaming. Or so I thought they were random. What I have found is that it's related to the specific FOV and distance to screen. A high FOV and being too close to the screen gives me massive headaches. I have to tweak most games' FOV to suit me. There's games i absolutely can't play at all, the Talos principle being the first that comes to mind. It started happening when I upgraded to a bigger monitor

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u/FEARtheMooseUK Oct 11 '21

Isnt it supposed to be 20/20? Not 10/10?

Honestly have no idea. But i recently got glasses and headaches from screen time have vanished. (Also now my game has stepped up a few notches!)

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u/HatchbackDoug Oct 11 '21

I had no idea that 20/20 wasn’t the same everywhere, it never even occurred to me that it would be like that. TIL

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u/Thanzor Oct 11 '21

You can have great vision at seeing things from far away and still need glasses for things that are close. It won't present as bad vision because if you are young your eyes can make the stuff close to you look sharp, but that doesn't mean this adjustment doesn't cause strain. Go to a different eye doctor and be honest about your headaches and when you get them.

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u/boipinoi604 Oct 11 '21

20/20/20 eye breaks. Every 20 minutes, take a 20second break, focusing on something 20 feet away.

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u/irreverent_squirrel Oct 11 '21

Dude i get headaches at random while gaming i went to the doctor he said i have 10/10 wtf do i do

Isn't perfect vision 20/20?

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u/graflig Oct 11 '21

A friend of mine used to get terrible migraines. They immediately went away once he got glasses.

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u/AtomicEdge Oct 11 '21

Same here.

I'd basically convinced myself I had a brain tumor and then got some glasses and was fine.

I never thought my eyesight was bad, and wearing the glasses didn't make anything noticeably clearer really, but apparently I was squinting when looking at screens without realising, and that made up about 14 hours a day!!

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

I have glasses but only need them for driving and other longer distance stuff. But you're right, I'm around 3 years overdue for an appointment and something could have changed!

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u/itshayjay Oct 11 '21 Silver

Hi OP, I have an accommodation problem with my eyes meaning that I struggle with the part where you transition from looking far to looking near, when the muscles would contract, so my eye muscles often feel like they’ve been doing a hard day at the gym when I finish a long session of uni work and the headaches are real.

Ask your optician for any eye exercises you can do to help strengthen your eye muscles as well as finding out if your prescription has changed! They recommended them for me and it’s the weirdest sensation to realise that my eye muscles feel weak doing certain exercises.

I would presume that time in a restaurant (as a patron) would coincide with long periods of eye-contact (with others) as well as unideal lighting conditions and constantly transitioning from looking close (menu, person near to you) and far (person across the table, couple arguing across the restaurant that you’re peeking at, looking at the decor etc)

I also recently found that when I’m driving or watching movies -where I don’t blink as often or change my vision depth- that eye drops are super useful to reduce dryness and overall strain alongside glasses usage. Carrying my glasses and a little bottle of eye drops when I’m away from home has helped a lot with dryness and strain overall as long as I’m using them both regularly and appropriately.

Happy seeing, OP!

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u/f10101 Oct 11 '21

Be sure to tell them about the headaches. It changes how they go about determining the prescription.

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u/IAm-The-Lawn Oct 11 '21

Maybe look into blue light-filtering glasses too for when you do have screen time. See if that helps. Or even better, ask the optometrist when you’re in!

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u/gigabyte898 Oct 11 '21

One of my old coworkers didn’t need glasses but still wore 0 correction blue light filtering lenses. He said it was a massive help to his migraines, blue light can throw off your body’s rhythm a ton especially when it comes to sleep. There’s also some software you can install to artificially lower the blue colors on your PC, f.lux is a popular one.

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u/caanthedalek Oct 11 '21

Android and Windows 10 both have built-in options too (other platforms probably do too, but I don't have experience there). I think in both cases it's called "night light."

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u/acoolglassofwater Oct 11 '21

An alternate view on this could be that poor posture is used during screen time which creates short and tight neck muscles. When OP stretches, some of this tension is alleviated.

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u/randomcoldplaysong Oct 11 '21

Nice correlation

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u/keyh Oct 11 '21 Helpful

This is pretty cool. I realize that you're already getting them pouring in, but with my experience I would suggest adding:

Caffeine intake (this makes some headaches worse and some better it seems)

Pollen Count (could be sinus related)

Humidity

Just a few things that I know affect my headaches.

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u/[deleted] Oct 11 '21 edited 24d ago

[deleted]

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u/keyh Oct 11 '21

Ahh yes, good call. Drinks AND food affect me as well. Sometimes I "forget" to eat (once I hit a certain amount of hunger, it just "goes away" pretty much) and can get headaches from that.

Also, an interesting thing that I've learned; Sometimes your sense of "thirst" is actually weak and can be misconstrued as hunger. So, sometimes when you feel hungry you're actually thirsty, and eating, especially salty foods, will compound the issue.

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u/RafWasTak3n Oct 11 '21

Oh I've definitely noticed that, I eat when in reality I'm thirsty, but water doesn't taste as good as a food snack so it's definitely hard to be disciplined with that.

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u/RK9Roxas Oct 12 '21

Here’s a trick. Sprinkle some salt in there it’ll make the water more palatable and give you much needed electrolytes which can alleviate a headache as well as hunger.

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u/l88t Oct 11 '21

This. If I feel a headache/migraine coming on there's a near solve-all (for me): 1. Water, rehydrate 2. Rest, don't watch TV or anything like that, close your eyes and lay down or recline. I will sometimes listen to a podcast or audible book at low volume to help occupy my mind from the pain. 3. Excedrin as well. I use this only when the migraine has progressed into nausea inducement or major head/eye pain. But in conjunction with 1 and 2 it typically knocks it out.

I find my biggest factors for migraines are: High sugar/carb diet. Dehydration. Lack of sleep. In that order but usually together.

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u/BubblyRamenWithEgg Oct 11 '21

The go-to move in our house is to press the fat/tissue between your forefinger and thumb with your other forefinger and thumb. This nerve connection (not sure the scientific term) was taught to me as a kid and it always alleviates my wife's migraines. Try it sometime!

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u/mxlun Oct 11 '21

Your migraines sounds very similar in nature to mine. Do you intake caffeine often and do you think the caffeine in excedrin plays a part in helping? Once I reach that nauseous stage, 9/10 times I puke. Also super sensitive to sensory inputs, lights, sounds, etc.

One thing I've noticed that is very strange: anything heavy in tomato sauce, or cheese (not sure which I eat a lot of cheesy heavy pizzas and pastas lol) they make my nausea go out of control, I puke, but the headache is gone after. weird stuff.

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u/NoAngel815 Oct 11 '21

I've had migraines most of my life and now they're chronic. When I was younger caffeine greatly helped mine but as I've gotten older that changed so it's something you need to monitor. For the cheese/tomato issue either one is a known trigger for some people. The best way to figure out is to cut one out if your diet, it could also be the combination. Another thing is the food coloring Red 40/Red 40 Lake is in an unbelievable amount of foods and is a huge trigger for me and others. It's insane what they put it in.

Check out r/migraine for more.

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u/Incredibad0129 Oct 11 '21

80 oz of water? I'm glad it's working but holy hell that is so much. Especially for a kiddo. I wonder if it really takes that much to help

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u/poplongm Oct 12 '21

Oh I've definitely noticed that, I eat when in reality I'm thirsty, but water doesn't taste as good as a food snack so it's definitely hard to be disciplined with that.

So you're saying forgetting to eat gives you a headache but once you pass a certain point of too much hunger it goes away? If I understood correctly, that happens to me too! I suffer from chronic migraines

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u/erbazzone Oct 11 '21

Caffeine intake (this makes some headaches worse and some better it seems)

This is my trigger, if I stop taking coffe after 2 days I have always migraines, they stop when I take coffe it's like a withdrawal issue, I solved the problem definitely stopping taking coffe

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u/OneTruePirate Oct 11 '21

Caffeine intake often causes or aggravates headaches, but it also relieves caffeine withdrawal symptoms, which can include headaches :)

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u/13143 Oct 11 '21

Caffeine is also a vasoconstrictor, which may hell relieve headache pain. It's a common ingredient in many OTC headache/migraine medications and is present in fioricet, a prescription rescue medication.

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u/atomicwrites Oct 12 '21

I though caffeine was effective at getting rid of migraines for a lot of people.

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

Some good shouts thanks. I don't drink Caffeine, but my colleague actually wrote a blog post about how stopping caffeine impacted his anxiety https://bearable.app/how-does-caffeine-affect-my-anxiety-i-quit-coffee-for-a-week-to-find-out/

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u/TheMightyDane Oct 11 '21

So you’re just full on admitting this is a paid post, now?

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u/unkempt_cabbage Oct 11 '21

How so? It’s OP’s app, and the data is interesting. OP isn’t telling people to use the app or give them money.

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u/maju2581 Oct 11 '21

He created the app, look at OPs profile

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u/brasseuphoniumking Oct 12 '21

Yes it's his app? What's your point?

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u/FusionSaint Oct 11 '21

I would recommend getting checked for high blood pressure. When I was finally diagnosed and started taking medicine for that my headaches have pretty much all stopped.

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u/lucaoaol Oct 11 '21

From what I have seen in other studies, the lack of water causing dehydration is the most common cause by far..

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u/PleasantAdvertising Oct 11 '21

That's me alright. I can feel It coming up and if I don't immedietly gorge myself with water I'll face the consequences of a painful headache for the next 8 hours.

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

Yes good point, water tracking is separate in my app to "factor" tracking and I use graphs to analyse this manually, as currently we don't separate specific water tracking insights.

We have a public roadmap where our community can suggest new features and vote on others' suggestions, as well as seeing what I'm working on next. It would be great if you could add water insights as a suggestion there, so we can see what other people think! https://changemap.co/bearable-/bearable-roadmap/.

If anyone else sees this and is using the app, feel free to make some other feature requests too - especially around what insights you'd like to see.

This app was actually started here on Reddit a few years ago - I posted on all the different chronic health condition subreddits, to gather feedback on what people wanted from a health tracking app, and hundreds of these Redditors are still involved in testing the app today and giving their input. This is why building the app with our community is still so important to me.

If you're interested here's what the app insights looked like 2 years ago, I posted about seeing who really made me happiest here on DIB (Social life vs Mood).

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u/DefiantBidet Oct 11 '21

As a migraine sufferer who had to keep sleep and water journals... Get rest, drink plenty of water and every hour or so stop looking at a screen for a minute or two. That said, thanks for the datavis.

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u/Xhanza Oct 11 '21

The late sleep times also triggers my migraine. Either migraine or extreme nausea. It’s 50/50 which one it is. I can’t do all nighters anymore due to it, and it sucks

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

Thanks for the advice.

I use the 20/20 method, so set a timer to look away from my screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds (I also drink water each time).

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u/Jaymzkerten Oct 11 '21

My eye doctor referred to it as 20/20/20: every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds as our eyes aren't built to be staring at something so close for so long, so this gives the muscles around your eyes a chance to relax.

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u/DO_initinthewoods Oct 11 '21

Can I ask what app you prefer? I have tried several but none of them are stellar

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

I think my opinion would be a bit biased as I created this App, but I don't know any other apps where you can track all aspects of your health in one place. Might be worth asking others' more impartial opinions on here :)

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u/GregHolmesMD Oct 11 '21

When did you create this app? I remember looking for something exactly like this a couple of months ago to track what influenced my medication side effects and I couldn't find anything. This looks perfect!

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

It's been out since Feb 2020 :)

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u/GregHolmesMD Oct 11 '21

Guess I just didn't find it then.

Downloaded it and am gonna give it a try anyways :)

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u/MrsSalmalin Oct 11 '21

Habitica allows you to input different daily tasks and check off if you completed them or not. You can give each a positive score or negative score. I just don't know if you can go back and pull that data for later analysis.

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u/DefiantBidet Oct 11 '21

As a migraine sufferer who had to keep sleep and water journals... Get rest, drink plenty of water and every hour or so stop looking at a screen for a minute or two. That said, thanks for the datavis.

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u/oneupsuperman Oct 11 '21

I just have to say that the development process behind this app is stellar. Keep doing what you're doing.

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

Thank you!

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u/miserydiscovery OC: 1 Oct 11 '21

Just wanna say, downloaded the app after I saw this post and I'm so impressed with the overall usability and functionality. Everything I can think of that would be useful is there. Love it so far

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u/Winterplatypus Oct 11 '21

and a lack of 5 cups of coffee does it for me.

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u/Keiner97 Oct 11 '21

Hey, i'm just in a "experiment" of making an cafein reset, with almost 9 days clean now.

I was like you but this reset really worked. There were 3 very complicated days with a lot of headache, but now i got my source of life self made by my brain and no coffemakers haha

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u/your_doom Oct 11 '21

Hmm, I should probably try that... I'd imagine the hard part is having to power through the headaches for a few days

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u/Keiner97 Oct 11 '21

Yep, I recomend to start in some days that you don't have a lot of things to do.

But then is worth at my view. It was years ago the last time that a woke up without general ache for no drinking coffe or matein (i'm argentinian we drink "mate" quite much as coffe and have similar effects)

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u/Keiner97 Oct 11 '21

Also you can have some ibuprofeno o paracetamol haha

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u/snave_ Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

Failure to absorb water seems to be related to mine. Headaches are often accompanied by excessive peeing. I'd be interested in tracking not just input but output too.

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u/SurgeonTaco Oct 11 '21

Water has to be absorbed in order to be urinated out. It can stay in your intestine without being absorbed, but that immediately causes diarrhea. If it comes out of your bladder then it had to be in your blood first.

Your body may be getting rid of water too quickly. This can be a sign of diabetes. You should ask your doctor if you notice too much peeing.

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u/PureImbalance Oct 11 '21

So the correct description would be maybe water retention?

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u/MrsSalmalin Oct 11 '21

This has been my problem since forever ago. Every single doctor tests me for diabetes mellitus (type 2) and it's NEVER the case. There's another diabetes, diabetes insipidus, that is cause by a lack of Anti-diuretic Hormone (ADH) that is supposed to work on the kidneys to tell them to reabsorb more water (and not to pee it out). I've also been tested for that, and that's not the case either :(

I drink water often but I'm always dehydrated, and I still don't have an explanation. Maybe there isn't one!

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u/lunybaker94 Oct 11 '21

Do you have a low salt diet? That can cause dehydration

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u/MrsSalmalin Oct 11 '21

I definitely do not :)

I get migraines easily and my veins are just really small, I think it's part of a bigger issue unfortunately :(

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u/Accessible-Privilege Oct 11 '21

Are you me? If you ever find answers, please remember me!

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u/MrsSalmalin Oct 11 '21

Bahahaha I will try :) Don't hold your breathe, I've asked multiple doctors about it (I've moved a lot)! I wonder if it's just that my veins are physiologically small and cannot accommodate the increased blood flow when my internal temperature rises. I also have Reynauds (as do my mum and 2 sisters. Why do I live in a cold country...) so I think my circulation also just sucks to begin with!

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u/nutral Oct 11 '21

Are you stressed? Maybe sleep apnea? Those are the factors causing it for me. Lowering my stress and sleeping better has helped a lot. along with reducing headaches.

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u/40characters Oct 11 '21

Absorption is triggered partly by there being more than just water in your intake. A touch of lemon works, for example. Or a bite of something.

This is partly why “sports drinks” work so well — they’re not just water.

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u/MrsSalmalin Oct 11 '21

You can request a 24h urine test from your doctor. You pee into a bucket for 24h and they perform tests on it.theres a test that can tell you if you have diabetes insipidus, a disorder caused by lack of Anti Diuretic Hormone. ADH is supposed to tell your kidneys to reabsorbed water into the bloodstream and not pee it all out.

Worth asking your doctor for!

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u/doopliss6 Oct 11 '21

I can't pee for 24 hours

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u/CantHitachiSpot Oct 11 '21

I can feel a headache coming on sometimes and drink lots of water but my mouth still feels dry and sticky but my pee is clear

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u/Mesapholis Oct 11 '21

hey, it's hard work squeezing out that last drop each time you run to the toilet!

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u/Devilsdance Oct 11 '21

It could also be that you drink more water than usual when you have a headache to try to relieve the pain, and because of that you end up peeing more as well.

This seems to be how it works for me. My headaches are almost always tension-based because I already drink much more water than the average person. I tend to drink more water than usual when I’m feeling any kind of discomfort because I know dehydration could be the cause, which leads to me peeing a lot.

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u/Crushedglaze Oct 11 '21

Irritatingly, mine are completely divorced from water intake :/

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u/_b1ack0ut Oct 11 '21

Yup for me the 3 largest causes are, in order

Dehydration

Weather

Not eating

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u/nagi603 Oct 11 '21

Also after a while for most people: weather. I can quite accurately forecast cold-fronts. (Warm too, just usually not with headaches.)

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u/LizaVP Oct 11 '21

That and/or mold exposure.

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u/Flufflebuns Oct 11 '21

Yes! More water is the cure to so many things. Since college I learned the trick that I can drink as much as I wanted, get as drunk as I want, and as long as I chug absurd quantities of water before bed, I will never wake up with a hangover or headache.

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u/Juamocoustic OC: 3 Oct 11 '21

If high screen time causes headaches, consider getting your eyes checked for glasses. I got a prescription for only very slightly corrective glasses (most people who don't wear glasses say they barely notice any effect when they put my glasses on) and it basically fixed my headache issue.

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u/Reeleted Oct 11 '21

Also make sure your screens are eye level and don't look down at your phone. Neck strain gives me really horrible headaches too.

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u/[deleted] Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 26 '21

[deleted]

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u/Wraldpyk Oct 11 '21

Built-in on iphones and macs.

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

Interesting are you near or far sighted? I do have glasses but they are for seeing far, e.g. for driving, so I don't wear them to look at the computer.

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u/WhatIsntByNow Oct 11 '21

My eye Dr told me that having close glasses even if you're nearsighted is a big help. If you wear glasses to see far away, take them off for close work. If you wear contacts, wear reading glasses for close work

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u/Frangiblepani Oct 11 '21

As a frequent mild headache sufferer, I'd also be curious to add barometric pressure to the list of observed factors. I find I tend to get headaches when there's a big change in the weather/temperature and I suspect its something to do with pressure.

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

I have tracked this before, but for me personally it didn't seem to make a notable difference

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u/Frangiblepani Oct 11 '21

I guess trepanning won't help you then. *puts away drill*

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u/CantHitachiSpot Oct 11 '21

Drill a person's brains out, they will be headache free for the rest of their life.

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u/Web-Dude Oct 11 '21

Modern problems require modern 18th century solutions

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u/FrankaGrimes Oct 11 '21

It's waaaaay older than that.

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u/Turbo_911 Oct 11 '21

Yep, usually an oncoming headache will tell me when rain is coming. Three cheers for getting old!

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u/_b1ack0ut Oct 11 '21

Yup. I get pressure headaches from the weather, my whole family does. They’re usually pretty gnarly, I can’t think at all, curl up in a ball and want to die (more than usual that is lol), and usually have a good vomit too

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u/Polkadot1017 Oct 11 '21

That sounds pretty migraine-y.

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u/hewhoisneverobeyed Oct 11 '21

Yeah.

Headaches and migraines are not the same thing. Migraines tend to have specific triggers and - hopefully - resolutions, individual-by-individual. For some migraine sufferers, changes in baremetric pressure is a trigger.

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u/Frangiblepani Oct 11 '21

Oh that sounds bad. Mine are usually just dull aches that put me in a bad mood. I can function, I'm just boring and an asshole at those times.

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u/Alonso-De-Entrerrios Oct 11 '21

This has always been my main migraine trigger. I used to have pretty intense migraines just before heavy rains.

Fortunately, they got softer and way less frequent as I aged. Nowadays, it barely happens, and I just feel very sleepy, and the headache is minimum.

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u/1stbaam Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

Some of these could be correlation but not causation, for example I exercise and meditate on days I have time to, and having the time in a day to do things I would like to do is a decrease in stress of itself.

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

Yes I'm sure many of them are, due to how many unique variables there are in the day. I didn't track expecting to be shown a list of causes, I did it to be shown a list of notable correlations, for which I could then use my subjective input to decide whether to look into them more and see if I can determine causation.

Soon I also hope to implement a feature that shows the strength of a correlation, taking into account cofounding variables as well as number of data points.

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u/Cheddarific Oct 11 '21

This is completely misleading information and does not at all reflect causation. Very possibly points you in the wrong direction. To prove my point, here’s the other half of your infographic: Getting a good night’s rest: 77% Low screen time: 85% Not going to a restaurant: 87% Low sugar:89% Etc.

To prove causation, we need the opposite of your data. We don’t want to know what percent of headache days have high sugar; we do want to know what percent of high sugar days have headaches. (Evidence: If you always eat high sugar, then 100% of your headache days will have high sugar, even if you only have headaches twice per year. Opposite of that, if you only eat sugar on your birthday and New Year’s and it happens that you don’t have a headache on either of those days, then 0% of your headaches have high sugar.

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u/AlwaysAngryAndy Oct 11 '21

Also things like poor posture associated with sitting on a couch/chair for a long time. I also notice that I get headaches when I get poor sleep because I end up laying for long times in terrible positions trying to get comfortable.

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u/eric5014 Oct 11 '21

What are the numbers in brackets?

You might also be able to make up a matrix of the co-correlation of all the things you measured.

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

Amount of days of data for that variable

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u/TTSDA Oct 11 '21

Sorry for doubting your intentions OP but this really looks like an Ad for that app. I wouldn't comment usually but instagram is being hella spammed by Ads for this kind of app too, disguised as wholesomeness.

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u/SilentBtAmazing Oct 11 '21

OP posted another link to a blog post on this app website in an unrelated comment on this thread and called the author a colleague so I would assume this is sponsored or official in some way

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u/frozenplasma Oct 11 '21

OP created the app.

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u/SilentBtAmazing Oct 11 '21

There you go, thanks

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u/Techmite Oct 11 '21

It's funny that "Drinking water" isn't on here...

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u/ne1seenmykeys Oct 11 '21

Just so you know, epsom salt has repeatedly not shown any advantages over just soaking in water for awhile. It’s the relaxation in water and not moving that does the healing, not the Epsom salts.

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u/Eruptflail Oct 11 '21

Too much sugar? Usually my headaches are the complete opposite. If I don't get food on time, even just a little, headache for the rest of the day.

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

When I say high sugar, for me that means refined sugar

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u/paullywog77 Oct 11 '21

Eating sugar or other carb based junk food at night gives me a huge increase in chance of a Headache the next day. Personally I think my headaches are related to grinding my teeth and certain things make me grind my teeth more.

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

Tool used for recording data is the Bearable App (Feel free to check it out), which is a mood and symptom tracker made by myself. The image is pieced together from data exported from this software (@mods).

Explanation:

- I thought it would be interesting to find any correlation between some of my daily activities/other factors and my headache severity. I rated my headaches in the am, midday and pm for the last year.

- The % change my headache severity rating with/after the factor/activity in question, compared to the times without/before that factor/activity. The numbers in the brackets represent the number of days in the year I selected that factor/activity.

- Obviously, there are a tonne of other variables in one’s day, but I still found this really fun to do and sometimes interesting correlations can be inferred.

————————

Background

The initial reason for making this app was to help people with chronic conditions to keep everything in one place to find how various factors affect their mood, symptoms, sleep, energy and more. I started making the app after dealing with my own health conditions, as other apps either:

  1. Were too simplistic, focusing on just one health factor/outcome e.g. a mood tracker.
  2. Felt too cold and clinical as if designed by doctors - not engaging enough or enjoyable to use. Whilst inputting on excel was too much of a chore and not portable or insightful enough.

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u/timzuid Oct 11 '21

Dude, this looks awesome! I’d just wanna add two things: - I’d also like to know what influences my mood in the afternoon. I feel like sometimes I have a dip at 3/4pm and sometimes not. I haven’t found an app that also breaks it down in morning, afternoon and evening - I’m using daylio now, which worked because of their widget I have on the Home Screen which reminds me to fill the data in. I found that reminders via a notification tend to work less after a while because they come at the same time everyday. Just something to think about!

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u/Stem97 Oct 11 '21

This does break down "pre morning", morning, afternoon and evening. It suggests time brackets for those, but if you manipulate the time you're entering your mood then you could conceivably make those breakdowns whatever you wanted.

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u/shpoopie2020 Oct 12 '21

Bruxism and jaw clenching are fairly common and a cause of headaches.

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u/Staringwideeyedcant Oct 11 '21

I highly doubt playing guitar has any effect on headaches

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u/BoopingBurrito Oct 11 '21

There's probably a connection between various of the points, like on days where he's playing the guitar he's more likely to be staying up late.

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u/Staringwideeyedcant Oct 11 '21

That makes sense!

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u/halberdierbowman Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

Also +2% is very close to 0, so I would probably assume anything single digits here doesn't have a huge effect and just try and look at a few of the biggest ones to start, like late bedtime. Unless I'm misreading it, I'd assume that means it's 2% more likely than average, not that 2% of the time they play guitar they end up having a headache.

Also to note it could be that late bedtime is the problem in itself (not enough sleep) or it could be that whatever is causing the late bedtime is a problem, like maybe those days are more stressful because other things happened that aren't on this chart.

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u/SquireForeskin Oct 12 '21

Poor posture while playing could cause a (tension) headache

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u/Bullied_at_Bingo Oct 11 '21

How do you define the cause of the headache could it not be that a late bedtime, or high screen time wasn't the cause of a headache and instead been from something such as lack of water or food and you corelated it to the wrong thing simply because its at the end of the day.

Edit: please bare in mind im not disputing your data i was just wondering your thoughts and found it interesting.

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u/41potatoes Oct 11 '21

It seems like it’s more over time looking at what triggers are present when a headache hits which gives information of what can be controlled. ‘Cause’ is used more casually here but it’s a lot of correlation instead of causation.

Headaches, especially migraines, are a fickle beast. You could be controlling all the ‘causes’ and bam still get one. I just started a tracking program again of headaches, length, meds, what I’m doing at the time, etc., because I’ve had a huge increase in the amount of migraines lately.

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u/xtaberry Oct 11 '21

I found my migraines are almost exclusively caused by the intersection of 2 or more triggers. Just dehydration or sleep deprivation or a change in barometric pressure isn't enough, but any 2 of those things is sure to cause one.

Fortunately, two of those are controllable, so I haven't had one in years.

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u/DoubleWhiskeyGinger Oct 11 '21

I agree, playing video games in the bath is the way to go

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

Well, I'm dead now. But on the plus side, my headaches are gone.

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u/-Why-Not-This-Name- Oct 11 '21

I suppose you can link high sugar to restaurants and late bedtime. Additionally, it's easy to get dehydrated (which is my number one way of getting headaches) when eating out considering increased alcohol intake mixed with more highly salted foods. I used to love cooking in and going to restaurants but have definitely noticed a difference during lockdown. I've been cycling a lot during this time and any source of dehydration can make me feel hungover for a few days.

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u/pjhabs Oct 11 '21

so i should start doing bathsalts

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u/Least_Pie_3139 Oct 11 '21

As a neurologist this data is beautiful, those look like common migraine triggers. Migraines are more common than you imagine. Consider treating with vitamin b2 and coQ 10 supplements.

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u/artsforall Oct 11 '21

Regarding guitar, you may want to look at your posture and stiffness. I recognize my comment is missing a lot of information. If it is posture and stiffness, and your not taking lessons, you may want to consider Feldenkrais Method. This movement method is about body awareness. (Alexander Technique may also work.) If you are taking lessons, mention this to your teacher.

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

I think it's exactly that. I think it's the hanging my head down aspect of playing that causes tension.

But I do also have sensitivity to certain sounds so it could be a combination - like 80/20

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u/sidewinder27 Oct 11 '21

Orgasm usually fixes it for me

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u/KittenDust Oct 11 '21

Have you tracked any medication you have taken? I suffered from headaches my whole life until a doctor told me it could actually be the pain medication causing them. (just over the counter paracetamol and ibuprofen). I went without anything and after a few weeks my headaches stopped. it was a tough few weeks but now I very rarely get headaches.

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u/hephephey Oct 11 '21

I've been tracking headaches, activities, mood, other ailments and more since new year's. Number one cause of headaches for me is my period. As if cramps weren't bad enough.

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u/opisska Oct 11 '21

I had terrible headaches and they turned to be due to my back - or rather cervical spine. I was not able to track it down myself, but when I was told what the problem was and took the right steps, the improvement was so radical that it was clear that it was the cause. Basically I have stopped using a computer in bed or any other place where I would crouch doing that and even when working at a table, I insist on an external keyboard and monitor if I should work for an extended amount of time. Headaches, debilitating enough that I couldn't leave bed for entire days, gone in an instant. The problem in finding the correlation was that the headache would happen usually the next day after the period of bad posture, not immediately.

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u/BoopingBurrito Oct 11 '21

Yeah, its crazy how a small change that seems unrelated can really improve things. A friend of mine had a doctor diagnose him in his late 20s with very mild limb length discrepancy. It had never been picked up on before, but one of his legs was a bit shorter than the other. My friend had been going to doctors from about the age of 15 with terrible neck and shoulder pain. Turns out that was being caused by his leg being that little bit shorter, which was putting his hips under stress which was being passed on into his back, and then up to his shoulders and neck.

One set of adaptive shoes (and some stretches) later, and he was absolutely fine, no lingering issues at all!

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u/YrPrblmsArntMyPrblms Oct 11 '21

Supermarket shopping is like 30% for me lmao

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

Yeah, bad lighting mainly I think

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u/joshakabulldog Oct 11 '21

If you have headaches after waking up in the morning, sleep apnea can be a major factor in that. I used to wake up with headaches a lot before getting a CPAP machine. Now I rarely get one.

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u/Sabor117 Oct 11 '21

How did you track "high screen time"? Was this just any day where you had screen time above a certain threshold?

Did you have any days of very low/no screen time to act as a possible control for that?

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u/jwalrusisawesome Oct 11 '21

Coulda sworn this was r/wallstreetbets cause of the numbers and red font

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u/rongkongcoma Oct 11 '21

For me its 70% alcohol and 30% weather changes in spring and autumn.

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u/brakebreaker101 Oct 11 '21

and 100% reason to remember the name.

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u/LucaDarioBuetzberger Oct 11 '21

Seems like eye strain. A little tip: A huge ammount of people here need glasses but don't know it.

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u/Moforia Oct 11 '21

Why would restaurants be causing headaches? Looking at small text on the menu perhaps? I have no idea.

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u/MoreMagic Oct 11 '21

Could be wine drinking involved.

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u/seventhsickness Oct 11 '21

Has anyone that gets headaches from screen time try lenses with blue light filter and notice a difference?

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u/HeroJournal OC: 20 Oct 11 '21

It didn't help directly. What helped is using a setting that made any screens more orange warmer - using software like f.lux. I think this helped because I then wasn't being exposed to blue light as late, meaning my sleep was better.

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u/FBJYYZ Oct 11 '21

Nobody seems to include hydration as a factor for controlling headaches. A lot of the time simply drinking a couple glasses of water gets rid of headaches.

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u/xkabauter Oct 11 '21

This is an awesome app and some nice statistics that might actually improve your well being!

My list would look different: filing taxes would be on top of the list :D

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u/billiejoearmstring Oct 11 '21

This truly is beautiful and so useful. Such a good idea

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u/merelystatingfacts Oct 11 '21

thanks for introducing this app to me! I've been looking for something like this for a long time

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u/s-rhoom Oct 11 '21

Clenching your jaw causes headaches too. Couldn’t figure out why I was having such bad migraines, well it was from clenching my jaw.

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u/blueridgerose Oct 12 '21

::cries in restaurant worker::

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u/CptFlechette Oct 12 '21

Sucralose, stevia and other sugar substitutes will spark migraines for me. I can taste it right away if I try a new drink without looking at the ingredients.

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u/wannasrt4 Oct 12 '21

This’s a fantastic example of tracking metics that matter. This can be applied to so many other areas of life, as well.

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u/michaelandrews Oct 12 '21

How does drinking water rank?

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u/theuniverseisboring Oct 12 '21

Man, do you really have to do this to me? I'm just a poor guy who goes to sleep too late...

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u/Kaligrade Oct 12 '21

Meditation and yoga/stretching is the truth,improves life an alot of ways,spiritualy and physicaly,