Migraine app provides security for those affected and can reduce the headache
With a special migraine app, which was developed in cooperation with the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) and the Pain Clinic Kiel, the aura symptoms of a migraine can be simulated, which helps those affected to classify their symptoms. In addition, users are given exercise for prevention and the app contains the international headache classification with all known over 367 types of headache, according to the TK.
The press officer of the TK in Schleswig-Holstein, Jana Walther, who is also a migraine patient, tested the functions of the migraine app in a self-test. She was particularly impressed by the possibilities for visualizing the seizure. Recently, there has been the possibility of a live simulation of the special course of the migraine in the app, which makes the visual impairments understandable even for those not affected.
Aura symptoms often cause panic
With migraines, streaks and veils suddenly appear out of nowhere in front of the eye. Small flashes can also be added. Such attacks are often extremely scary for those affected, especially if they have not yet been diagnosed. “My first migraine with aura was a strange feeling. This big question mark about what is happening to you is causing uncertainty and panic, ”reports the TK press officer about her experience.
One in ten migraine sufferers has aura symptoms
According to the TK, migraine headaches begin with one in ten people with a central nervous system disorder called an aura. This neurological disorder develops slowly within a few minutes and lasts up to an hour, explains Professor Dr. Hartmut Göbel from the Pain Clinic Kiel in the TK press release. The severe migraine pain begins at the latest 60 minutes after the aura phase, but sometimes this does not occur.
Many sufferers do not know about their migraines
"Some patients complain of such auras for years without even remotely knowing that they suffer from migraines and that many other people have completely identical symptoms"; reports Prof. Göbel. Many people are not aware of the connection between migraines and such neurological disorders, which is why often no specific therapy is initiated. Possible other aura symptoms include dizziness, speech disorders, tingling and numbness in certain parts of the body or even symptoms of paralysis or even loss of consciousness.
Aura symptoms are visualized in the app
Thanks to the new migraine app, the aura symptoms can be visualized, which helps those affected to classify their symptoms. The app accesses the cell phone camera and shows the current environment. Then the typical streaks, veils and zigzag flashes appear gradually at the edge of the field of view until a third of the field of vision can no longer be clearly recognized. "Just like a real migraine aura," emphasizes Jana Walther. In the meantime, she knew exactly what would happen if streaks suddenly appeared in front of the eye. The severe headache sets in about half an hour later.
Complaints are easier to explain
Knowledge of the aura brings a certain level of security for those affected and if streaks and small flashes suddenly appear, an emergency doctor does not have to be called immediately, reports the TK. It was also often difficult to explain to friends and family what is happening to you, but thanks to the live simulation, it is now easy to convey how affected people experience a migraine with an aura, said the press officer at TK Schleswig-Holstein.
Migraine app can reduce headaches
According to the Techniker Krankenkasse, a first efficacy study by the pain clinic in Kiel showed "that the app helps users to reduce headache." The results illustrate the potential of digital solutions, says Dr. Johann Brunkhorst, Head of the TK State Representation Schleswig-Holstein. "With this app, patients get a digital tool that supports them in dealing with their headaches," continues Brunkhorst. For both iOS and Android smartphones, the app is available free of charge to all those affected and it is currently being used by more than 100,000 users across Germany, reports the TK. (fp)