EEG Test: Purpose, Procedure, Risk Factors, Cost
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the electrical activity in the brain. The device tracks and records brainwave patterns. Electrical impulses act as a medium for brain cells to communicate with each other. EEG records can be used to detect problems associated with this activity.
The electrical activity of the brain is detected with the help of small, flat metal discs called electrodes which are attached to the head with wires or cables. The electric impulses from the brain are then analysed by the electrodes which in turn send the signal to the computer which records the results.
Doctors can easily diagnose any abnormality such as seizures or brain disorders by looking at the wavy lines with peaks and valleys in the EEG recording.
Why is EEG performed?
Electroencephalograms (EEG) help to detect problems relating to the electrical impulses of the brain, which may be responsible for certain brain disorders.
The results from the EEG are used to confirm or rule out various diseases and conditions such as:
- Head injury
- Epilepsy (seizure disorder)
- Brain tumour
- Brain inflammation (encephalitis)
- Memory problem
- Sleep disorders
EEG tests can also determine the level of brain activity of a person who is in a coma and
track brain activity during brain surgery.
Risk factors associated with EEG.
The EEG test is a completely painless and safe procedure with no risk factor associated with it. The flashing lights and deep breathing of the EEG can rarely bring a seizure. It is mostly seen in patients with a seizure disorder.
Our medical team at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad is well-trained to handle any situation.
How to prepare for an EEG test?
Before going for the test, a person must follow these steps:
- Wash your hair properly one night before the test.
- Do not use any gel, hair oil, or hairspray before the test.
- Ask your doctor before taking any regular medications.
- Avoid having food and drinks with a high level of caffeine at least 6-8 hours before the test.
- You may be required to sleep during the EEG test. So, your doctor might ask you to sleep as little as possible before the test.
- It is always advisable to come with someone for the test.
What can I expect during an EEG?
During the test, several electrodes are attached to the scalp of the patient to measure the electrical impulses in the brain. These electrodes transfer the information from the brain to the computer to record data and it takes about 30-60 minutes to complete.
EEG involves the following steps:
- You have to lie down on an examination table or reclining chair. The technician will then mark the spots on the scalp wherein the electrodes are supposed to be placed to get a high-quality reading.
- The technician will then apply some sticky gel adhesive to fix the electrodes on the scalp of the patient.
- As soon as the test begins, these electrodes send electrical impulses data from the brain to the recording machine. The data can be seen in the form of visual patterns on a screen which are saved as EEG records.
- In between the test, the technician may ask the patient to do certain things like close his/her eyes, breathe deeply or look at the stimuli such as flashlights or a picture.
- The electrodes are removed from the scalp once the test is completed.
- The patient might feel little or no discomfort as very little electricity is passed between the electrodes and the skin.
- Sometimes, a person may undergo a 24-hour EEG test that uses video to capture the seizure activity. The video EEG can show abnormalities related to seizures.
What do EEG test results mean?
A neurologist will interpret the data and the recordings collected from the EEG and send the results to your doctor who orders the EEG. Your doctor will then discuss the test results with you.
Normal results: EEG shows the electrical activity of the brain that appears in the form of wave patterns. Various activities like sleeping and waking have a specific range of frequencies of waves per second that are considered normal.
The movement of the wave patterns is faster when you are awake than when you are
sleeping. A normal wave pattern means that you are not having any brain disorders.
EEG results may show abnormal patterns due to:
- Seizure disorder
- Abnormal bleeding
- Sleep disorder
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Head injury
- Swelling of the brain conclusion
It is important to discuss your test results with the doctors. They will help you understand various aspects of your results. You must ask all your doubts related to the results which you don’t understand.
Book an appointment with the best neurologist at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad about your health conditions. They will provide you with the best opinion and better ways to treat the disease. Meet Dr. Rakesh Kumar and Dr. Neeraj Aggarwal in case of any doubts or to get your EEG done.