Your primary care doctor can treat many things, but sometimes they will recommend that you see a neurologist for specialized treatment. A neurologist is trained to identify potential neurological conditions and prescribe treatment plans for you.
Here Dr. David Zagzag offers a few reasons why your doctor may tell you to meet with a neurologist.
Experiencing a headache from time to time is nothing out of the ordinary, and can be caused by any number of things like a sinus infection, toothache, or stress. They tend to subside within a few minutes or hours, but more serious headaches have severe symptoms that you should keep an eye on.
If you experience migraines multiple times a week that is accompanied by vomiting, continuous pain that worsens over time, changes in vision, or even seizures, alert your doctor immediately. Headaches that occur while waking up can be especially significant and warrant calling your physician. You could be at risk of an aneurysm or stroke in extreme cases, which can cause severe damage to the brain.
- Chronic Pain and Weakness
Aches and pains are part of life, but what do you do when they don’t go away? Over time, the body will mend itself naturally, but there are circumstances when dull, or even throbbing, pains remain for months or years.
While initially the result of an injury or illness that should fade over time, it should be brought to the attention of your doctor when recovery exceeds the anticipated time frame.
If you experience new or worsened pain accompanied by weakness, numbness, and bowel movement difficulties, make an appointment with your doctor.
- Movement and Vision Problems
New or worsened difficulty moving or seeing is cause for concern and one of the main symptoms neurologists treat. This can happen when cells in the brain become impaired or die off. Tremors, stiffness, and failing coordination can signal that your brain isn’t producing enough dopamine to control your movements, leading to Parkinson’s disease.
You may suffer from blurred vision or bouts of vision loss in part or in full.
A neurologist will be able to assess you for Parkinson’s disease and rule out any other conditions that may be harming your overall health.
A seizure is a physical response to the electrical impulses in the brain when they burst, creating an uncontrolled spread of electrical activity.
Brain maps have shown that seizures affect the area of the brain responsible for memory formation, meaning that a sudden increase in confusion or memory loss is a reason to consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Experiencing seizures can go unnoticed, or it can cause major trauma to the brain. A neurologist can diagnose the cause of the issue and begin treatment afterward.
- Sleep Problems
There are many causes for sleep problems, but neurological concerns are the most threatening. Conditions like sleep apnea and anxiety can lead to further issues if left untreated. While some symptoms are not related to a neurological disorder, such as excessive nightmares, it’s imperative to consult your doctor to rule out any potential conditions you are unaware of.
If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend that you see a neurologist for proper treatment. You may need to be treated for narcolepsy or insomnia, or prescribed other sleep-aiding medicines to reduce the strain on your brain and body.
Consult Your Doctor
These are all potential signs of neurological concerns that need to be addressed quickly to assess the state of your health. While these conditions may sound concerning, a neurologist will determine the cause of the problem and begin treatment to eradicate the issue as soon as possible.
Always consult with a qualified and licensed physician. The content and information on this website is not intended to be a substitute or to replace professional medical advice for accurate diagnosis or appropriate treatment. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources, not to rely on this website for emergency medical treatment and to carefully review the information provided with their professional health care provider. In short this website is not an attempt to or should not be used to make a diagnosis, to replace or to overrule a qualified health care provider’s judgment.