While your primary care physician is able to treat many conditions, you may be referred to a neurologist when special care is necessary.
You would also want to visit a neurologist if you’re following up on a chronic illness that affects the central nervous system (e.g., Parkinson’s disease).
In this article, we will cover some of the top reasons that should make you schedule an appointment with your neurologist.
1. You have unusual neurological symptoms
The vast majority of people experience neurological symptoms occasionally. For instance, almost everyone develops a headache or migraine episode at some point. However, when these symptoms get severe enough, visiting a neurologist becomes indispensable.
Symptoms that qualify for being unusual include severe pain, convulsions, numbness, tingling, weakness, involuntary movements, lost bladder control, and vision abnormalities.
All of these symptoms mean that there is something wrong affecting the nervous system, requiring special diagnostic and management skills. Your neurologist might order tests such as Nerve Conduction Studies, EMG, CT scan, or MRI to confirm the diagnosis.
For those of you unfamiliar with Nerve Conduction Studies or EMG tests, These are electro-diagnostic tests that evaluate nerve and muscle electrical activity. These diagnostic tools are crucial for the evaluation of neuromuscular disorders and peripheral neuropathy.
To learn more about the reasons to visit a neurology clinic, check out this link.
2. You get referred by your primary care physician
As we mentioned above, your primary care physician possesses the necessary skills to manage a wide range of conditions. However, neurologists receive extensive training focusing on brain and spinal cord disorders. This allows them to make difficult diagnoses and prescribe precise treatment options and medications to treat diseases of the nervous system.
According to some reports, neurology residency includes some of the most complicated scientific principles compared to other medical specialties. Therefore, when your primary care physician suspects you need specialized neurology care, he/she might refer you to a neurologist.
3. You are following up on a chronic illness
Patients with already established chronic illnesses (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease) will automatically visit their neurologist for follow-ups. In other words, there is no need to go through a primary care physician for a referral.
After assessing your symptoms, the neurologist may prescribe one or more medications or suggest other non-pharmacological or procedural treatments.
For instance, patients with Parkinson’s disease who do not benefit from medications may be candidates for deep brain stimulation, which is a relatively new technique used to stimulate the basal ganglia (i.e., the affected area in Parkinson’s Disease).
Seeing a neurologist can be life-saving in certain situations, especially when the diagnosis and treatment are done in a timely manner.
We hope that this article managed to explain some of the reasons for which you would consider seeing a neurologist and receiving tailored medical care.
If you have any questions about the signs and symptoms listed above, don’t hesitate to contact us via this link.