Migraine - Medical specialists

Here you will find medical experts in clinics and medical practices in the medical field Migraine. All listed physicians are specialists in their field and have been carefully selected for you according to strict guidelines.
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Migraine - Further information

In which specialist field are migraine specialists active?

It is often difficult to diagnose migraine, and your primary care doctor may therefore wish to refer your headache condition to an appropriate specialist. Thus, depending upon the actual cause of your painful, recurring migraine headaches, your condition may actually be diagnosed by one of a number of different specialists from different medical fields, including:

  • a migraine specialist, who may be qualified in neurology with a relevant specialism, or may operate within a dedicated migraine clinic.
  • a neurologist, who is a doctor specialising in disorders of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. A neurology specialist can treat head and neck nerves, as well as diagnosing problems related to memory, balance, speech, thinking and language.
  • an ophthalmologist, who is an eye specialist able to diagnose migraines related to issues such as vision changes, light sensitivity or a range of possible eye disorders.
  • an otolaryngologist, or ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist, who can diagnose migraines that may be caused by conditions such as sinus complaints.
  • an allergy specialist, whose focus is on diseases and conditions that cause asthma and allergic reactions, who will be able to diagnose or rule out migraine symptoms related to these causes.
  • an obstetrician/gynaecologist, who specialises in disorders and diseases affecting women, especially the female reproductive system, pregnancy and childbirth, and who will be able to investigate migraines that may be triggered by such causes.
  • a pain management specialist, who may be called upon to find ways to manage and reduce the pain caused by severe migraines.
  • a neuromuscular dentist, who can examine jaw and facial tissues, muscles, teeth, joints and nerves in the neck region in order to determine whether these areas are the cause of migraine symptoms.
  • a psychiatrist, who specialises in anxiety, depression and mental disorders, and who may be able to trace any links between these issues and a persistent migraine headache.

Which illnesses do migraine specialists treat?

Migraines are typically classified in seven categories, as follows:

  • Migraine without aura (visual disturbance), or "common migraine".
  • Migraine with aura, or "classic migraine", typically presents as migraine headaches accompanied by an aura. Less frequently, an aura can occur on its own, or with a non-migraine headache. Sometimes there can also be motor weakness or temporary speech difficulties.
  • Childhood periodic syndromes (which are common precursors of migraine itself) include: occasional intense bouts of vomiting, abdominal pain, usually accompanied by feelings of nausea, and occasional attacks of vertigo.
  • Retinal migraine presents as migraine headaches along with visual disturbances, or even a brief period of blindness in one eye.
  • Complications of migraine describes types of migraine headaches and/or associated auras, which are uncharacteristically long or unusually frequent, or associated with a seizure or brain lesion.
  • Probable migraine describes conditions that have a few migraine characteristics, but where there is insufficient evidence to support a conclusive diagnosis of migraine.
  • Chronic migraine is a complication of migraines, and presents as a headache that fulfils the diagnostic criteria for a migraine headache and also persists for a greater time interval – 15 days per month (or more), for more than three months.

Migraine

What treatment methods are used by migraine specialists?

Migraine specialists will recommend a holistic approach that combines prevention with management and treatment of a migraine condition, and uses some of the following methods and remedies:

  • identify and avoid your personal migraine triggers, which might be eggs, red wine, chocolate etc.
  • adopt lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a sensible diet, an established sleep pattern, reduced stress levels etc.
  • behavioural therapies and techniques used to manage and reduce migraine pain include massage, ice on the head, relaxation and meditation.
  • preventative medications to avoid attacks taking place include anti-seizure drugs, beta-blockers, Botox (as a muscle relaxant), antihistamines and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • medications used to manage a migraine attack that has already begun include analgesics for pain relief, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, triptans, ergots and anti-nausea medications.
  • complementary treatments, such as acupuncture and herbal products, have also been shown to be effective in helping to manage and relieve migraine pain.

What additional qualifications are required by migraine specialists?

Most migraine specialists will be medically qualified as neurologists. Although no standard certification recognises migraine or headache medicine as a subspecialty, various (mostly neurological) bodies have tried to address this situation with their own training and certification schemes. For example, the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties is a professional medical organisation that accredits fellowship programs and certifies physicians who demonstrate competence in various neurologic subspecialties, including headache and migraine medicine.

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