My Blog

Posts for category: Health Conditions

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
August 17, 2022
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Vertigo  

Understand more about vertigo and why it happens.

If you are dealing with vertigo, your first trip is probably to your primary care provider. They will evaluate your symptoms and determine if you should turn to our specialists, such as our Winchester, VA, neurologists for care. Here’s what you should know about vertigo and when to turn to our specialists.

What Is Vertigo?

If you’ve ever felt like you were moving when you weren’t, then you’ve probably experienced vertigo. Vertigo causes dizziness and can make you feel as if the environment around you is spinning.

What Causes Vertigo?

Vertigo isn’t a condition but rather a symptom of a condition that impacts the vestibular system of the ear or cerebellum. So, determining what’s causing your vertigo will be the first thing our Winchester, VA, neurologists will do before deciding how to treat it. Vertigo may be peripheral, a condition that impacts the inner ear or vestibular system, or central, caused by a neurological issue such as multiple sclerosis or vestibular migraines.

When Should I Turn to a Neurologist?

Wondering when to schedule an appointment with our Winchester, VA, team? You should give us a call if you are experiencing,

  • Vertigo that lasts more than a day
  • Vertigo that’s so severe that you can’t move
  • Persistent vomiting accompanied by your vertigo

How Is Vertigo Treated?

We will first need to determine what’s causing your vertigo, which can be done by performing a head thrust, Romberg or Dix-Hallpike test, or running imaging tests. Once we determine the cause, our team will craft a personalized treatment plan that may include,

  • Medications such as antihistamines, benzodiazepines and muscle relaxants
  • Vestibular rehabilitation and balance retraining
  • Canalith repositioning (also called the Epley maneuver)
  • Surgery (only in severe cases)

In some cases, vertigo may go away on its own without medical care; however, if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that is causing your vertigo, it’s important that you seek care from a qualified medical professional.

If you are battling vertigo and looking for answers, it’s time to turn to our Winchester, VA, neurologists. We can perform the appropriate tests to determine why you are battling vertigo and then map out a treatment plan to help you feel better. To schedule an evaluation, call Winchester Neurological Consultants at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
June 29, 2022
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Stroke   Neurologists  

How your neurologists in Winchester, VA, can help you recover after a stroke

A stroke can be devastating, making an impact on your quality of life. It’s important to seek out support and help from friends and family as you recover. Your neurologist is there to help speed your recovery too.

The neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, provide a wide range of medical services, including stroke treatment to help you recover from a stroke.

Did you know there are two different types of strokes? Your treatment can vary, depending on the type of stroke you experience.

The first type of stroke is an ischemic stroke, caused by a blood clot which has blocked the amount of blood flowing to your brain. This is also the most common type of stroke.

Treatment for an ischemic stroke centers around breaking up the clot, so your blood can flow freely again. Common treatment includes:

IV administration of Alteplase medication which breaks up the clot. It’s particularly effective during the early stages of a stroke.

Endovascular treatment to remove the clot and re-establish blood flow. This procedure is most helpful if it can be used within the first 6 hours of a stroke, but it is still helpful if used within 24 hours.

The second type of stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke, caused by a ruptured blood vessel in your brain, which results in uncontrolled bleeding in your brain. A hemorrhagic stroke can be caused by chronic high blood pressure, an aneurysm, or abnormal blood vessels.

Treatment for a hemorrhagic stroke centers around stopping the bleeding in your brain. Common treatment includes:

  • Treating the source of the bleeding using a catheter
  • Surgical therapy to treat an aneurysm

Remember that a stroke can be fatal, so it’s important to call emergency services immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing:

  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Light headedness or fainting
  • Numbness in the face, arm, or leg, usually only on one side
  • Blurred vision or vision loss in one eye
  • Problems speaking or understanding what others are saying
  • A sudden, excruciating headache
  • Unsteadiness or being unable to walk

To find out more about the types of stroke and how your neurologist can treat a stroke, call the neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA. You can reach them by calling (540) 667-1828, so call now.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
August 09, 2021
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea   Heart Disease  

When you suffer from sleep apnea, you are at a higher risk of developing other chronic diseases like heart disease. The physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants, located in Winchester, VA, are experts in identifying the connection between sleep apnea and heart disease and its prevention.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing intermittently during sleep. The most common cause of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea which results from a narrowed or blocked airway that restricts oxygen from getting into the lungs. Several cases of obstructive sleep apnea may go undiagnosed if your halts in breathing are not witnessed.

Sleep apnea symptoms go beyond just feeling tired or being unable to concentrate during the day. When you continuously deprive your body of the much-needed oxygen, it can cause significant stress on the body.

Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

Sleep apnea is shown to directly affect a wide range of severe health complications, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and irregular heart rhythm. For example, research shows that patients suffering from sleep apnea are 2-4 times more likely to develop an abnormal heart rhythm, increase heart failure risks by 140%, and increase coronary artery disease risk by 30%.

Sleep Apnea, Heart Disease, and Obesity

Obesity plays a significant role in your risks for sleep apnea and heart disease. Sleep apnea on its own can increase your risk for heart disease, but then add obesity as a factor, and you will see your risk for heart disease increase even more. If you suspect you may suffer from sleep apnea, the physicians at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, will screen you for the disease and offer treatment.

How obesity affects both sleep apnea and heart disease is evident. When you are obese, a more significant amount of fat deposits in the neck narrow or block the upper airway while you sleep.

With heart disease, obesity is linked to several factors that increase your risk, and they include:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome

When you have high blood pressure, your heart's left ventricle can become enlarged and weaken, leading to heart failure.

Sleep Deprivation and Heart Disease

With sleep apnea, you are not achieving the sufficient amount of rest that your body needs. When this happens, the lost sleep can negatively impact your heart health. When you receive a good night's rest, your heart rate and blood pressure drop during sleep, becoming more stable and regular. Without sleep, your heart is not experiencing this critical recovery time.

If you snore, experience daytime sleepiness, or suspect sleep apnea, reach out to Winchester Neurological Consultants today for a consultation appointment at their office in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
July 23, 2021
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Multiple Sclerosis  

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease affecting the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, also known as the central nervous system. The medical professionals at Winchester Neurological Consultants located in Winchester, VA, have experience diagnosing and treating multiple sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease, meaning your immune system attacks healthy tissue, and there is no definitive cause of this disease. When the attack occurs, the myelin sheath, or area surrounding your nerves, becomes damaged, leading to inflammation and pain. Eventually, the myelin sheath disappears from the repeated attacks leading to scars or sclerosis. They can be seen as plaques or lesions on imaging.

Only the nervous system is directly affected by multiple sclerosis, and it includes the:

  • Brain
  • Spinal cord
  • Optic (Eye) nerves
  • Brain stem

As more nerves become affected, your body loses the ability to carry out certain functions.

Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Your body's central nervous system serves as the primary control center for all your bodily functions. So, when it is damaged, you will start to see symptoms from all parts of the body.

The most common signs of multiple sclerosis include:

  • Generalized muscle weakness
  • Numbness and tingling of face, body, arms, and legs
  • Electric shock sensation with neck movement, also known as Lhermitte's sign
  • Increased urinary frequency, loss of bladder control, retention of urine
  • Constipation and loss of bowel control
  • Muscle spasms
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Impaired ability to walk
  • Depression
  • Pain

As the disease progresses, you may experience more symptoms, and mild symptoms may increase in severity.

The doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, will be able to evaluate you for multiple sclerosis and create an effective treatment plan.

How Can Multiple Sclerosis Be Treated?

There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis at this time, but there are treatment options available to reduce and relieve symptoms while also slowing the progression of the disease.

The current treatment options available include:

  • Medication: Some given by mouth, injection, or infusion. The regimen is dependent upon the drug itself and individual care plan.
  • Symptom Management: Other medications may be added to the regiment that helps reduce symptoms like inflammation and pain during flare-ups.
  • Behavioral Changes: Reducing screen time when vision is affected, increased rest periods when tired, and frequent breaks with activity.
  • Physical Therapy and Assistive Devices: Help improve balance, mobility, and tremor severity.
  • Dietary Changes: May help with bowel and bladder issues.
  • Alternative Therapies: heat and massage for pain, acupuncture, stress management, and exercise.

If you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the medical staff at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can help you manage your condition. Please call today for a consultation at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
March 24, 2021
Category: Health Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea   Heart Disease  

Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, helps patients by treating sleep disorders like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea wears on your heart health and if you haven't sought treatment we can help.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where the patient stops breathing during sleep. Constricted airways cause the patient to snore loudly and gasp for air. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but most people with sleep apnea snore loudly and often. This is obviously very stressful for the body to wake up repeatedly throughout a night of sleep, but did you know that sleep apnea can affect your heart health?

Sleep apnea and the heart

When breathing stops the body releases stress hormones, which can lead to heart disease over time. Obesity is a common cause of sleep apnea and plays an important part in heart disease as well. Fat deposits around the upper airways can lead to obstructed breathing, making you more likely to have sleep apnea. Maintaining a healthy weight only helps you have a healthy heart and healthier sleep.

Healthy habits

Healthy habits go a long way in managing sleep apnea. Your Winchester, VA, doctor will recommend limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking. Smoking is notoriously addictive and some people seek treatment for sleep apnea and continue to smoke. This only puts more stress on your heart every single day. Most people can't quit on their own or on their first try, so don't get discouraged!
 

Both sleep apnea and obesity can each independently increase the risk of heart disease. If you aren't treating your sleep apnea you're putting your heart under extra stress each day. If you have sleep apnea come see Winchester Neurological Consultants for treatment. Contact us in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828.