When discussing your headache symptoms with a provider, the provider will take into account your physical exam and discussion of symptoms and may choose to order diagnostic testing. Diagnostic testing is necessary to rule out concerning causes of your headache.
One diagnostic test used to that may be ordered is an EEG. An EEG is a test that assesses the electrical activity of your brain, or brain waves, specifically looking for abnormalities such as seizure-like signals. The test involves several electrodes that are placed on your head and send a signal to the EEG machine to record a graphical representation of what is going on in the brain. During the test, you will often be asked to perform certain activities such as deep breathing to stimulate certain areas of the brain. This often takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
The results are reviewed by a physician. If the EEG is deemed normal and there are still concerning symptoms, your provider may ask you to do an extended EEG called an ambulatory EEG over 72 hours. With this test, you come to the office for the EEG electrodes to be applied and then go home wearing them for the next several days. In this case, you will be asked to press a button to record brain activity each time you experience symptoms.
For more information about EEG and other diagnostic testing for migraine, call The Manhattan Center for Headache & Neurology and speak to one of our caring providers.
Brooke Steiger, NP