In 2019, around 20.6% of adults in the United States developed a mental illness. And the figure has hence increased following the breakout of the global pandemic. 20.6% accounts for 51.5 million individuals. The problem is prevalent in the United States and other parts of the globe. That has led to an increased demand for neurological services. But who is a neurologist?
A neurologist refers to a health specialist who detects and treats problems related to the brain and the nervous system. However, they don’t perform surgery. Your health physician will most likely refer you to a neurologist if they suspect that your illness needs advanced care. For patients within Frederick County, you can access excellent care from Frederick neurology if your disease is related to the nervous system, brain, or spinal cord.
In the meantime, let’s look at instances when you should consult a neurologist.
Signs that you Need to See a Neurologist
When you have a headache
Headaches are common illnesses, and several factors trigger them. You can have a headache stretch into your sinuses across the upper side of your head, then to the muscle of your shoulders, neck, and head, or within the base of your brain or skull. A headache can result from a sinus infection, toothache, eye problem, and more.
While a headache problem may not be a cause for alarm at times, there are more severe conditions such as migraines. That’s because it can lead to death and comes with severe symptoms such as vomiting. Also, a headache that persists for a long period leads to seizures or changes in vision. Such a headache needs the attention of a neurologist.
Dizziness can be experienced in different forms. A neurologist treats dizziness that stems from disequilibrium or vertigo. Vertigo is a condition that could make you feel like you are rotating while disequilibrium interferes with your balance. However, your health specialist will advise you whether you need to visit a neurologist.
Suppose you have been having feelings of weakness. In that case, you should consider seeing a doctor, especially if your weakness isn’t related to tiredness due to common tasks such as hiking or lifting heavyweights. You should not hesitate to consult your doctor if you develop muscle weakness that interferes with your ability to perform daily activities. That’s because the weakness could result from a more severe condition such as stroke or problems related to your nervous system.
Seizures are sometimes unnoticeable, and they are characterized by various symptoms such as loss of consciousness, breathing problems, jerking legs and arm movement, confusion, and more. One can experience seizures after withdrawing from addictive substances or low blood sugar. If you develop seizures suddenly and do not know the underlying cause, you should talk to your health provider. They will evaluate the seriousness of your seizure and recommend you to a neurologist if need be.
After developing a spinal or brain injury
One can develop a spinal or brain injury if they get involved in a car accident. Also, these kinds of injuries are common with athletes. Brain injuries are linked to problems such as dizziness, seizures, headaches, and loss of consciousness. These problems can trigger behavior change and even alter your memory and thinking. Furthermore, spinal cord injuries lead to numbness and weakness. But a neurologist can help you out. They will come up with a treatment plan that suits your specific needs.
Parkinson’s disease leads to the loss of essential brain cells. These are brain cells involved in the production of brain chemicals referred to as dopamine. And this chemical aids in body movement. Most people who are prone to Parkisons disease are 60 years and above.
The symptoms linked to this disease include slow or stiff movement, trembling, clumsiness, and so on. Although there are no Parkinson’s tests, a neurologist carries thorough examination to detect the disease. With a neurologist, you can access the best medication to contain the situation, not to mention that they may recommend a treatment referred to as deep brain stimulation.
If you ever suffered from a stroke
A stroke happens when blood supply to a part of the brain is cut. It results from blocked blood vessels or bleeding in the brain. As a result, some brain cells that are not receiving blood die. A neurologist can treat stroke if it’s diagnosed in the early stages. He can diagnose the condition by taking images of your brain. In the case of a blocked blood vessel, the neurologist focuses on dissolving blood clots. Below are stroke symptoms;
- One side of the body becomes numb
- Body weakness
- Trouble talking and confusion
- Loss of balance and clumsiness
- Severe headache
- Loss of vision
Difficulty walking, unintentional movements or jerks, being clumsy, or tremors signify complications in the nervous system. A neurologist can help, especially if movement problems interfere with your usual activities. However, some problems such as tremors could result from anxiety or a side effect of certain medication.
Sleep problems could be caused by stress, waiting too long to go to bed, nightmares, sleep apnea, and more. But some sleep problems could be caused by a neurological disorder. A health expert can help establish the underlying cause of your sleep problem. Sleep problems resulting from the neurological issue include narcolepsy- a genetic and chronic disorder that affects the nervous system.
It’s normal to develop visual problems due to old age, but the same problem could be caused by the nervous system, especially if you develop the problem suddenly in both eyes. Your optician or primary care doctor will refer you to a neurologist if need be.
Confusion and memory problems
These are problems such as personality changes, confusion, problems speaking, and poor memory are signs of a disorder in the spines, nerves, and the brain. Some of these conditions could arise from learning disabilities or could be caused by a condition such as Alzheimers.
Finally, if you have either of these symptoms, seek medical help, and your primary care provider will advise you whether to visit a neurologist or not.