Having to visit a neurologist can feel intimidating for many people. Especially if it is your first time that you will have to go visit one.
The term itself is intimidating because neurologists look at more serious ailments of the nervous system. However, you do not necessarily have to be afraid about your first visit to your neurologist. You only need to know and prepare.
So what does a neurologist do on your first visit? Well, a lot of it depends on the reason you are going to see her/him. But there are some common things you can expect during your first visit. And we’ll cover them below.
What Does a Neurologist Do On Your First Visit?
Ok, let us say that this is the first time you are going to see a neurologist. It could be because your primary care physician referred you to one. Or maybe because you just think you need to see one due to symptoms affecting the nervous system.
Upon your first visit to the neurologist, the first thing that will happen is of course a brief introduction of both of you. Then the doctor will likely review your medical history and ask you some questions.
Then they will most likely have you go through a physical exam and neurological exam as well. This exam will typically be a way for the neurologist to gauge your muscle strength along with reflexes, sensation, and coordination.
Depending on the neurologist and the reason for your visit, you may also undergo more tests.
Common Neurological Tests
So, what are the common neurological tests that you may undergo? Common neurological tests include the following:
A lumbar puncture numbs and sterilizes the spine. A needle will be inserted into the lower spine. This is to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid.
This diagnostic test can help the doctor diagnose diseases of the central nervous system. This includes both the spine and the brain.
This test is commonly known as EEG. In this test, electrodes are applied to the patient’s scalp. That is to measure the electrical activity in the brain.
Abnormal results on this test can indicate some type of brain disorder. It can help diagnose sleep disorders, head injuries, seizure disorders and more.
Electromyography And Nerve Conduction Studies
These tests are known as EMG and NCS. In this test, electrodes are used in the skin, and very fine needles are placed in the muscles. This is to measure nerve and muscle function.
These tests can help pinpoint where your symptoms are coming from. It can help diagnose conditions including pinched nerves, Diabetic neuropathy, Carpal tunnel syndrome and other injury and/or damage to the nerves.
CT, MRI, and PET Scans
These scans are other common tests your neurologist may order. They are helpful in diagnosing a wide range of conditions by letting the doctor get images of the brain and other parts of the body so they can check for any abnormalities.
How To Prepare For a Visit To a Neurologist
So, knowing all that, how exactly will you prepare for a visit to your neurologist? Here are some tips.
First of all, write down symptoms that you are experiencing as well as key health information. This can include a family history, medications, allergies, and previous illnesses.
One more tip is to bring a friend or a family member with you during your first visit. They can be of big help, especially if they know what you are going through.
We hope that this article has helped you get ready and prepared for your first visit with a neurologist. At the end of the day, if your primary physician requires you to visit with a neurologist, know that it is necessary and should only be beneficial to your health.