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Dark Clouds: 9 Signs You Should See A Neurologist

Dr. Sabir Hussain Bhatti

3 min read

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While daily schedules and comparatively lower funds leave little time or resources for booking and withstanding long waiting times at the doctor’s office, that is no excuse to delay a visit to the neurologist. When to see a neurologist? To answer this question, it is important that we talk about the symptoms whose frequent recurrence warrants a visit to the neurologist, since an early diagnosis might make all the difference between a cure and mere treatment. 

1- Dizziness

While periodic lightheadedness and slips and falls are a common part of everyday life, experiencing either Vertigo (sensations of spinning and swaying even when not moving), Presyncope (feelings of fainting accompanied by lightheadedness, fuzzy hearing, loss of vision, and nausea), Disequilibrium (lack of balance or coordination), or Dissociation (feeling detached from either your body or surroundings) multiple times a day or more than average could be a harbinger of nerve issues in the legs and feet, or Parkinson’s Disease.

2- Headaches

Dull or throbbing headaches are usually the result of extreme pressure on the brain due to stress. However, frequent or sudden occurrences coupled with nausea, vomiting, or light sensitivity might be an indicator of a migraine.

Moreover, experiencing ‘thunderclap headaches’ that feel like being hit with a cricket bat on the head require urgent attention as they may be indicative of meningitis or brain hemorrhage.

3- Chronic Pain or Numbness

While numb and tingling fingers or infrequent neck and back pain lasting for short periods of time are the product of anxiety, low blood sugar, or other benign causes, persistent or recurring pain and/or numbness, particularly on one side of the body and chin could signal nerve damage caused by either peripheral nerve disease or a stroke, or cancerous tumors in other parts of the body, hence requiring immediate medical attention.

Moreover, loss of grip may be due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a nervous condition which can easily be overcome by the right treatment.

4- Blackouts

The first three symptoms might not be enough to answer the “when to see a neurologist” question but this fourth one definitely is especially if it is accompanied by some other symptoms as well.

Hyperventilation, dissociation, and even normal activities like sitting or lying down can sometimes trigger blackouts; either in the form violent seizure-like movements, or remaining motionless or unresponsive after falling down, which, while caused by a temporary disturbance in the nervous system, require an urgent neurological consultation if experienced frequently.

5- Vision Changes

While most vision changes can be attributed to various eye-exclusive conditions like glaucoma or macular degeneration, sudden or severe loss, or blurred or double vision lasting between a few seconds to a few minutes at a time could be an indicator of a stroke, brain tumor, Multiple Sclerosis, or Myasthenia Gravis (if coupled with droopy eyelids).

To check if such changes are neural or eye-related, close one eye. If vision improves, then it is an eye issue, if not, then the problem is most likely related to the nervous system.

6- Muscle Weakness

Usual weakness shouldn’t prompt a visit to the neurologist. If you feel tired or weak in the muscles after an excruciating workout or a tiring day overall, chances are it is not due to some disease. 

However, if you notice weakness over time that affects your daily routine or muscle weakness in the limbs, then you should see a doctor immediately.

This might be related to an underlying condition such as a stroke.  

7- Movement Problems

Since Parkinson’s Disease is the direct result of nerve cell destruction in the movement section of the brain, shuffling while walking, extreme clumsiness, rigidity, involuntary movements, or persistent tremors in different parts of the body that interfere with daily tasks requires urgent testing to delay the progression of this condition.

However, note that tremors can also be caused by certain medications and excess smoking.

8- Bowel / Bladder Incontinence

While commonly associated with the urinary and genital systems, an inability or difficulty in controlling bowel and/or bladder movements coupled with severe, chronic leg stiffness and weakness could indicate spinal cord compression or inflammation, which, although easily treatable in its early stages, might lead to severe complications if allowed to progress.

This 8th symptom is one of those after which you do not have the time to even ask the “when to see a neurologist” question which means that you should immediately rush to a hospital. 

9- Sleep Issues

While inconsistent sleep schedules or respiratory conditions like sleep apnea (which in itself requires medical attention) may be to blame for low sleep quality, prolonged occurrence of sudden bouts of sleep or drowsiness during daytime, difficulties in functioning for longer periods of time, and having trouble sleeping at night might indicate Narcolepsy; whereas sudden urges to move your legs while sleeping might be a result of Restless Legs Syndrome, among other neural disorders.

Figuring out when to see a neurologist neither has to be difficult nor stressful. If you regularly experience any of the above symptoms, contact your general physician immediately in order to confirm whether the cause is neural or not.

You can also book an appointment with a top Neurologist in Islamabad, Lahore and Multan through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your neurological concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Sabir Hussain Bhatti - Author Col. (R) Prof. Dr. Sabir Hussain Bhatti is a Neuro Surgeon practicing in Lahore. Col. (R) Prof. Dr. Sabir Hussain Bhatti has the following degrees: MBBS, FCPS (Neuro Surgery), FCPS (General Surgery), Advance Training Germany (Neuro) and has 18 years of experience. He also likes to make use of his vast experience in the name of public service, You can look at some of his advice at the following links. You can book an appointment with Col. (R) Prof. Dr. Sabir Hussain Bhatti by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button.
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