Electroencephalogram testing, or EEGs, are tests that record electrical activity in the brain. EEGs can help neurologists and doctors diagnose various brain disorders in patients, such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, encephalitis, and more. They’re completely safe and fairly quick procedures.
For more information on the EEG services we offer at Colorado Springs Neurological Associates, please call a representative today at 719-473-3272 or fill out an online form.
What Is an EEG?
Your brain cells use electrical impulses to communicate with each other. An EEG is a test that detects and records these electrical signals in your brain. It can take a snapshot of this activity and help diagnose or evaluate different types of brain disorders.
What Is an EEG Used to Detect or Diagnose?
An EEG can be used detect or diagnose conditions of the brain such as:
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- Encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain
- Encephalopathy, or brain dysfunction from various causes
- Brain tumors
- Memory problems
- Sleep disorders
EEGs can also be conducted to evaluate brain activity in a patient before an organ transplant, during a coma, or after a severe head injury.
What Can I Expect During an EEG?
Is an EEG safe?
If you’ve never undergone an EEG before, it may seem intimidating, but the test does not hurt. EEGs are safe and painless. Patients who suffer from seizure disorders may be triggered during the test, but a medical team will be on hand to monitor and treat you right away.
How do I prepare for the test?
During an EEG, small metal discs with thin wires, or electrodes, are placed on your scalp. These discs will send signals to a computer, which will record the results.
To help the electrodes stick to your scalp, you should wash your hair the night before and avoid using any hair products like gel or spray on the day of your test.
Your doctor may recommend that you stop taking certain medications or refrain from eating and drinking anything with caffeine up to 8 hours before the test. You may also be given instructions on sleeping the night before if you’re expected to sleep during your EEG.
What happens during the test?
An EEG can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete. If you must sleep during the EEG, it can take longer.
You’ll lie on your back on a bed or in a reclined chair. A technician will measure your head and mark where the electrodes will go. The electrodes will be attached to these spots on your scalp with a sticky gel adhesive.
When the test starts, electrical signals in the brain are converted into wavy lines on a computer screen. During the test and depending on your medical reason for having the test, you may be asked to do certain things, like look at flashing lights, close your eyes, read text, or breathe deeply.
Once the EEG is over, the electrodes will be removed. You can return to your normal routine following the test. If you were given a sedative, you’ll need someone to drive you home, and it’s recommended that you take it easy for the rest of the day.
What Do the EEG Results mean?
A neurologist will analyze and interpret the recordings of your brain activity. They’ll then send the results to your doctor who initially ordered the EEG. Your doctor will then talk about the results with you. Abnormal EEG results may indicate one of the previously mentioned brain conditions.
Discuss your EEG results with your doctor and ask them to explain anything you don’t understand. Be sure to ask about next steps, follow-up appointments or procedures, and any factors that may have skewed the results of your EEG.
EEGs and Other Neurological Services at CSNA
At CSNA, our team of expert board-certified neurologists treat a variety of neurological problems using the most advanced procedures and equipment available. Along with electroencephalogram testing, we also offer electromyography, deep brain stimulation, nerve conduction studies, and many more.
We’re committed to using the latest medical advancements and patient-focused care to help individuals who suffer from chronic pain or neurological conditions.
To learn more about our EEG services, call our Colorado Springs, Colorado, office at 719-473-3272 or contact a representative online to schedule an appointment.