Search engines are a blessing and also a curse. It makes it easy to self-diagnose a back pain or your neck tingling as a 'normal' occurrence. On the other end, however, different reports might get you anxious at the first sign of migraines. It can be difficult to distinguish a real neurological issue and a common discomfort of the body.
A neurologist specializes in training and treating diseases in the brain, the peripheral nerves, muscles, and the spinal cord. Such neurological diseases include epilepsy, movement disorders, and stroke among many others.
Your primary care doctor might refer you to a neurologist if you show signs of a neurological condition. These include:
Everyone experiences the unpleasant feeling of a headache at least once in awhile due to many conditions, like a throbbing toothache. However, severe headaches often accompanied by other symptoms should not be regarded as 'normal.' It might be time to visit a neurologist if you have light sensitivity, stiffness in your neck or if a headache began after a head injury.
Sudden Vision Change
Because our eyes are directly connected to the nervous system, sudden vision changes can indicate neurological issues. If the problem happens in both eyes, you might want to have your eyes examined. Your primary care doctor or an eye specialist will advise whether or not to see a neurologist.
It is human nature to forget once in awhile. Occasional forgetfulness can be due to stress, lack of sleep or a result of medication. However, memory loss, confusion, and trouble thinking can be a sign of serious health problems. These are symptoms caused by problems in the spine, the brain or the nerves. Your doctor will let you know if it is time to see a specialist.
You Have Problems Sleeping
Many people know obvious causes of sleep problems like having nightmares or going to bed late. There is, however, some sleep problems that are neurological disorders like the chronic genetic disorder, narcolepsy. Narcolepsy affects the central nervous system and has no known cause.
Another neurological condition RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome) disrupts sleep because of the irritating urges to move the legs. It is a sign best left to a highly trained professional.
If your coordination diminishes suddenly, you should plan a visit to the neurologist. Involuntary movements, stiffness in the joints or tremors and lack of flexibility could mean that you have a neurological problem.
Many of these signs could be due to problems that are not neurological. However, if you are uncertain, then your primary care doctor is the greatest resource to help you decide if it is time to see a brain specialist or not.
Reach out to a center like North Texas Neuroscience Center PA for more information.