Neurologists and neurosurgeons specialize in the nervous system in the body. They typically focus on the brain and the spinal cord within that system, and that is because those areas are typically where neurological problems stem from. They are highly educated and trained to deal with any neurological issue that any patient may have, including brain tumors, bulging discs, brain condition treatment options, and brain surgery.
There are over 1.5 billion people in the world who are living with some sort of chronic pain. Although this number may make the issue seem normalized, no one should be living with pain like that. Most of the time, these people need specialized care from a neurosurgeon to help with the problem and improve their quality of life. What else warrants a visit to a neurosurgeon? Here are three common signs that you should probably seek the medical assistance of a neurosurgeon.
Atypical Headaches or Migraines
Headaches can be caused by a multitude of issues. They cause pain and discomfort in the head as well as the rest of the body. Many people have occasional headaches, and some people even have migraines from time to time, which is known as a very severe version of a headache. However, when these headaches or migraines seem to be frequent or significantly more painful, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
While painful, most headaches only last for a while. For the most part, conservative treatments like over-the-counter pain medications will provide relief, however, you should see a neurosurgeon in these instances:
- Your headaches become very intense to the point of affecting your daily life or disabling you.
- You take medicine for headaches every day.
- You often experience persistent headaches upon waking up.
- Your frequent headaches are accompanied by dizziness, nausea, or even seizures.
- Your head pains make you hypersensitive to light, strong odors, and loud noises, which could point to migraines or even brain injury.
Memory loss or confusion
Have you ever had trouble finding your wallet, and your keys, or couldn’t remember someone’s name? Have you ever walked into a room meaning to get something, but can’t remember what?
Everyone has experienced forgetfulness here and there, an occasional lapse in memory is normal as we age and nothing to be worried about. However, if memory issues are beginning to disrupt your normal routine, it may be time to contact a specialist.
Memory loss that gets worse, changes in personality, or using the wrong words could be indications of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dizziness or Balance Issues
From time to time, being dizzy or lightheaded can happen to anyone. However, if this seems to be happening often, this is not a good sign. If you are walking around and feel dizzy often, or even lose your balance and fall, it’s probably time to see a neurosurgeon, especially if you experience the following issues, or if you have a family history (including a personal medical history) of neurological conditions:
- Unexpected numbness or weakness in one side of the body
- Numbness that lasts for weeks or months or gets worse (including loss of consciousness)
- Prolonged muscle weakness or a quick decrease in muscle strength
- A weak hand grip that limits your ability to do daily activities like eating, writing, or other daily tasks.
- Foot drop, meaning difficulty in lifting the front part of your foot, could cause it to drag.
- Prolonged numbness and/or weakness following a stroke or head injury
Unusual Pain or Numbness
As stated before, many people are living with pain. Continuous pain and/or numbness can be a sign of nerve damage. Nerves send information from parts of the body to the brain and spinal cord, which control pain. When miscommunication occurs, pain can be felt by the body, even if there is nothing painful happening.
You may experience numbness or tingling in your extremities due to any number of causes like that “pins and needles” sensation from sitting too long or having on tight clothing and in short term, these are typically harmless.
If they linger or if they come on suddenly for no apparent reason, the issue may be something more worrisome. See a neurologist if you experience the following, (especially if you have a family history of) numbness and/or weakness accompanied by other neurological symptoms, such as nerve pain or a burning sensation.
Blurred vision and related problems
Vision problems might be caused by genetics, aging, and accidents, but also by the nervous system. If your trouble seeing comes out of nowhere and occurs in both eyes, you should have your vision checked. Your regular primary care physician or an eye doctor may recommend you get professional neurological help with regard to your visual issue but do not ignore it.
We’re familiar with some obvious causes of sleep issues, such as going to bed late, having apnea or anxiety, or nightmares, yet there are also neurological disorders that can lead to difficulties sleeping. Narcolepsy and other neurological conditions are an example of this; it is a hereditary chronic disorder, that mainly impacts the nervous system. Generally speaking, you should see a neurosurgeon if you experience any of the following:
- Exhibiting longer than usual episodes of extreme fatigue during the day despite having had a full night’s sleep.
- Having difficulties staying awake in comfortable settings
- Experiencing trouble with falling asleep or staying asleep, or nightmares on a regular basis.
The nervous systems are very sensitive in the body, and they need to be kept in balance. If you are experiencing symptoms like unusual headaches, dizziness, or atypical pain and numbness, it’s time to find a neurosurgeon to fix the problems. For both standard and complex neurological issues, a neurosurgeon can pinpoint the cause and devise a suitable treatment plan.