It’s not uncommon for Hollywood to use the most extreme illnesses and rare occurrences in their plots for dramatic effect. However, despite the unnecessary paranoia this media sometimes creates, there are real symptoms, that if left unchecked, could lead to serious complications. It can be challenging, especially with neurological issues, to know when you are experiencing legitimate neuro-failing symptoms, or if its “all in your head”. As a neurologist, Dr. Duma has completed standard medical training, plus an additional specialized training in the brain, spinal cord, muscles and peripheral nerves. Since beginning his practice in 1987 Dr. Duma has seen a diverse range of patients and has treated a rich variety of neuro symptoms. Here is a brief summary of reasons and instances when you may actually want to see a neurologist.
A rare sign of neuro issues, as everybody gets headaches. However, if your headaches are accompanied with vomiting, light sensitivity, stiff neck, numbness in arms or legs, tingling in the body, occurs after a head injury or unusually lasts more than 24 hours, you should speak with a neurologist.
Does your pain also include numbness, weak muscles or problems with bladder or bowel control? Does your pain get worse when you rest or keep you up at night? If so, you should speak with a neurologist.
There are different types and definitions of dizziness. The type you’ll want to watch out for is vertigo. Vertigo is the feeling that you’re on a never ending merry-go-round. A sudden onset of intense vertigo (without the use of alcohol) is a sure reason to contact your neurologist.
Numbness or Tingling
As with most of these symptoms, they are pretty common. The flag raising numbness and tingling we’re referring to here comes on very quickly, leaves you unusually weak and fatigued, or affects only one side of the body. First make sure it’s not anxiety, and that you’ve eaten, but if it persists, you should speak with a neurologist.
You walk up the stairs everyday, but today, it’s especially difficult. This is called fatigue. If no matter how hard you tried, you were unable to walk up the stairs, this is true weakness. Fatigue will generally affect the entire body, whereas weakness can isolate a specific muscle or muscle group. Like most symptoms, if weakness comes on suddenly, you should speak with your neurologist.
Sudden tremors, stiffness, lack of flexibility, unintended or unplanned movements, or an overall drastic lack of coordination doesn’t guarantee that there is an issue, but it would be best to speak with a neurologist.
Sudden vision problems? Seeing double? A very simple test to help determine if it is merely an eye issue, or a more serious neurological issue is to check if the eye is the problem or nervous system. This can be done by simply closing one eye and seeing if the problem persists. If it goes away, it means the good eye is relaying the optical information back to the brain, and is most likely an optometry issue. If the problem remains, even trying both eyes one at a time, you should speak with your neurologist.
There does exist other symptoms to watch out for, such as unprovoked seizures, sudden changes in speaking, memory, personality, or confusion, but a good rule of thumb to remember is unusual, fast, and isolated is a red flag. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call Dr. Duma at 9490642-6787 or contact us online.