Migraine Doctors: Are You at the Right Specialist?

Finding the right doctor can be crucial to managing and surviving through your migraines.

Since there is no cure for migraines, a proper program that deals with your specific triggers, pain management needs, and alternatives to medication is necessary.

In order for this to happen you need to have the right doctor on your team.

A specialist will be able to diagnose migraines and prescribe a treatment plan that can better deal with the many facets of migraine management. Yet knowing which specialist to go to is complicated enough to give you a migraine.

Here is a breakdown of different specialties and how they can assist you.

Types of Migraine Specialists

Neurologist – deals with disorders and diseases of the brain, nerves, neck and spinal cord. This doctor is you’re most common specialist for migraines as migraines are thought to be a nerve or blood vessel issue.   Many of your headache clinics will be run by a neurologist

Ophthalmologist – treats diseases and disorders of the eyes.   Since migraines with aura often affect the eyes, this doctor can tell you if it is a result of an eye disorder.

Allergist – as migraines have symptoms closely related to those of allergies there is speculation that some migraine sufferers may have allergies or sensitivities to certain foods or smells. Ruling these out through an allergist can possibly reduce your migraine risks.  While this specialist won’t be your continual treatment doctor, they can give you insight into some trigger that you might have.

Otolaryngologist – or more commonly know as an ENT (ear, nose and throat specialist) can help rule out sinus infections or disorders that could cause migraines or their symptoms.  Like the Allergist they are not a permanent addition to the team but a great way to eliminate issues that can trigger your migraines.

Pain Management Specialist – are sub-specialists within their own field such as internal medicine, neurology or orthopedic surgeons but can be very effective in helping migraine patients cope with pain. By reducing the pain and developing coping mechanisms and programs the worst part of the migraine can be minimized.

Pediatrician – is a doctor that deals specifically with children. If your children are suffering migraines, which 9 percent of children do, their own pediatrician is the best first choice.  The pediatrician can then refer to other specialists that deal with children.  Kid’s migraines can manifest differently than adult ones so make sure your specialists for kids have lots of experience with kids.

Obstetrician/Gynocologists – focus on the reproductive system in women, since hormonal migraines can be a big factor for women this is a great place to start to ensure you don’t have an imbalance that can be corrected.

Seeking out the help of a headache specialist should be your first priority in dealing with migraines. At the same time, a daily migraine journal should be kept on various aspects of your life to help determine patterns that may trigger the migraines.   Armed with a good doctor and solid information on your triggers and you can begin to get your migraines under control.

Bonus Tip:  I like to look for doctors that also have migraines.  Since I have made this tweak in looking for doctors, the level of empathy and compassion I experience has changed.  Not to mention they will often be more open to alternative treatments and vitamins.