Neurology is a branch of medicine, biology, and neuroscience that focuses on diagnosing and treating neurological diseases. Therefore, a neurologist is a physician who diagnoses and provides medical treatment for patients with neurological disorders. The job of a neurologist is very challenging since these physicians have to diagnose, manage and treat diseases that affect the brain and nervous system, which are so complex. They can diagnose and treat epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, sleep disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Neurologists typically have a patient base that includes children as well as adults. But how do you know that you need to see a pediatric neurologist in New York? Here are some signs.
1. Severe, Chronic Headaches
Severe, chronic headaches can affect adults and children. When severe headaches interfere with daily activities, you should take them seriously. Chronic pains in the back of the head that last for three months or more could point to a neurological issue such as migraines or tension-type headaches, which a pediatric neurologist should diagnose.
2. Poor Balance
Loss of balance or difficulty coordinating voluntary muscle movements can indicate that something is wrong with the nervous system. A lack of balance could point to a neurological problem such as vertigo, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. Poor balance may be accompanied by dizziness, blurred vision, stumbling, and eye-movement problems. The pediatric neurologist will perform a thorough physical examination to look for neurological issues.
3. Speech difficulty
If you are experiencing difficulty speaking or slurred speech, it could indicate that something is wrong with your nervous system. A pediatric neurologist will use an exam to check your eyes, ears, face for any abnormalities. The pediatric neurologist will also use an exam to test the strength of muscles, sensation, and coordination.
4. Memory Loss
If you have trouble recalling recent events, words, or names, it could indicate a problem with your nervous system. It could point to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia which a pediatric neurologist should diagnose. While memory loss is common in adults over 65 years of age, children can also experience memory issues, especially if they are suffering from headaches, mental health issues, or under stress.
5. Abnormal Eye Movements
Abnormal eye movements could result if the brain is not receiving the correct sensory information about what’s happening in the surrounding environment. This happens because there is a problem with the brain’s primary visual cortex sending signals to other parts of the brain. The pediatric neurologist will perform a neurological exam to check for eye movements, coordination, and pupil response abnormalities.
6. Unexplained Loss of Consciousness
Unexplained loss of consciousness can be a sign that there is a problem with the central nervous system. An example is an epilepsy which a pediatric neurologist should diagnose. There are several different types of seizures, and they can affect different body functions such as vision, behavior, emotions, sense of smell, and touch. The seizure activity will vary depending on the brain area where it begins.
In summary, it is important to see a pediatric neurologist if you are experiencing neurological symptoms affecting your daily life. The pediatric neurologist will perform an exam to determine the underlying cause of the problem to provide proper treatment. This could include lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery depending on the diagnosis.