My Blog
By Winchester Neurological Consultants
June 22, 2020
Category: Mental health
Tags: Sleep Disorders   Sleep  

The amount and quality of sleep we get can have an impact on our health. For example, a lack of sleep can lead to low energy levels throughout the day or difficulty concentrating. The physical effects of sleep loss are often readily understood, while the mental effects are less known. If a lack of sleep is affecting your mental health, the experienced providers at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester VA can help.

Sleep Disorders

An occasional poor night’s sleep can leave you feeling less than your best the next day but is usually nothing to worry about. However, chronic sleep problems can harm your overall mental health. If you regularly experience difficulty sleeping or often feel unrested in the morning, you might have a sleep disorder. Some different types of sleep disorders include:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Periodic limb movement

The skilled providers at our clinic in Winchester VA can perform diagnostic screening tests to determine if you have a sleep disorder. Once a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan can be developed to help you achieve more restful sleep. For example, individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea experience interrupted sleep due to brief pauses in breathing during the night, often due to the tongue blocking the airway. An oral appliance or a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can keep the airway open so you can sleep more soundly.

How Sleep Affects Mental Health

Sleep can affect your mental health in a few different ways. Prolonged sleep issues, such as those due to a sleep disorder, could potentially contribute to certain mental health issues. For instance, some research studies have shown that people who struggle with insomnia have a higher risk of developing depression than individuals who do not have a sleep disorder. Additionally, a lack of restful sleep could also lead to increased irritability and difficulty dealing with stress.

A lack of quality sleep can also aggravate existing mental health conditions. For example, individuals who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues might experience a worsening of symptoms when they are not getting enough quality sleep.

In contrast, achieving restful sleep regularly can potentially lead to better mental health. When you are well-rested you are likely to think clearly, concentrate better, have better recall, and enjoy a more positive mood. The knowledgeable providers at Winchester Neurological Consultants can help prevent sleep issues from adversely affecting your mental health by developing a plan to help you achieve better sleep.

Our helpful providers can help you enjoy better physical and mental health by addressing your sleep issues. To schedule an appointment or a virtual Telehealth visit, call Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester VA at (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
April 27, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Telemedicine  

When you have concerns about your health or are feeling a bit under the weather, you typically arrange a consultation with your doctor. You might even go to the emergency room or urgent care clinic for after-hours situations. However, with the advancement of communication technology, your healthcare options are likewise expanding.

Via the telemedicine services here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, you’ll be able to obtain healthcare advice anywhere and at any time, all within the comfort of your own abode.

Telemedicine Basics

Put simply, telemedicine enables you to discuss your medical concerns, symptoms, and the like with your doctor in real-time through specialized software from your doctor or a simple video conferencing app. You could obtain a diagnosis, find out about your treatment choices, and receive a prescription. In some cases, doctors could even keep track of readings remotely through medical devices to monitor a patient’s condition and specific symptoms.

How Telemedicine Works

Take note that telemedicine is not suitable for medical emergencies such as stroke, heart attack, broken bones, or lacerations that need casts, splints, or x-rays. Basically, telemedicine is not advised for anything that needs hands-on, immediate care. Telemedicine, however, is extremely useful for general guidance, especially during these times of social distancing.

Whether you have a very busy schedule, can’t go out of the house, or live in a remote place, telemedicine consultations with your doctor could aid in improving your wellbeing and overall health. It could be a practical option when you have a migraine episode, a cold, or just need to consult with your doctor for any non-emergency health concern.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t ever have to go to your doctor’s office ever again, it does, however, make healthcare more affordable and accessible in suitable situations.

If You Have Any Medical Questions or Concerns, Give Us a Call

Set up your telemedicine consultation with one of our doctors here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, by calling (540) 667-1828.

April 13, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Stroke  

How your neurologists in Winchester, VA, can help if you’ve had a stroke

A stroke can cause dramatic changes to your life, including, in severe cases, the possibility of death. Accordingly, you should be informed about what happens when you have a stroke, so you and your family can be prepared. Fortunately, the neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, offer a wide variety of medical services, including stroke treatment to help you.

You may be having a stroke if you experience:

  • Sudden numbness in your arm, leg, or face, typically on one side of your body
  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision, typically in one eye
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding others
  • A sudden severe headache
  • Difficulty walking, sudden dizziness, or loss of balance
  • Feelings of confusion, fainting, or nausea

There are different types of strokes, which have different treatments. An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot blocks blood flow to your brain. Ischemic strokes make up 87% of all strokes. Treatment for an ischemic stroke involves removing or breaking up the clot to free up blood flow. This can be accomplished by:

  • Intravenous application of Alteplase medication to dissolve the clot and improve blood flow; this treatment is effective in the early stages of a stroke.
  • Endovascular or mechanical treatment to remove the clot and free up blood flow; ideally, this treatment should be performed within 6 hours of acute symptoms, but it can still be effective within 24 hours of the first symptoms.
  • Combination therapy, which includes removal of the clot and administration of Alteplase for eligible patients.

A second type of stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs from a blood vessel rupturing within your brain. This type of stroke can happen as a result of chronic, uncontrolled high blood pressure, an aneurysm, or abnormal blood vessels. The goal of treatment is to stop the bleeding in your brain, and this can be accomplished by:

  • Inserting a catheter tube into an arm or leg artery and guided up into your brain. The catheter contains a camera at one end which allows your doctor to see the problem, and insert a coil or other device to prevent hemorrhage.
  • Surgical treatment to treat an aneurysm

Remember that early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to surviving a stroke. To find out more about the causes, signs, and treatment of a stroke, talk with the experts. Call the neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, today by dialing (540) 667-1828.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
April 10, 2020
Category: Medical
Tags: Concussion  

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that negatively impacts your brain function. In most cases, concussions arise from a blow or some kind of injury to the head, and they are sometimes accompanied by a loss in consciousness. If you suspect that you have a concussion, visit us at Winchester Neurological Consultants here in Winchester, VA, for a thorough evaluation.

Symptoms of a Concussion

These could be subtle and might not show up right away. They could likewise last for days to several weeks. The most common symptoms following a concussion due to injury include a headache, confusion, and temporary amnesia. Other physical symptoms include nausea, dizziness, ringing in your ears, vomiting, blurry vision, and drowsiness or extreme fatigue. You may also feel as if you’re in a fog or very confused. Likewise, some symptoms could persist following the injury, including:

  • Irritability and mood changes
  • Memory and concentration issues
  • Sleep problems
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Disorders of smell and taste
  • Depression and other psychological issues

Symptoms of a Concussion in Children

Since concussions could be very hard to recognize in smaller children who still can’t talk. You need to watch out for the following warning signs:

  • A dazed and confused look
  • Crankiness and irritability
  • Tiring easily and listlessness
  • Excessive fussiness and crying
  • Unsteady walking and balance issues
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of interest in playing or lethargy
  • Changes in sleeping and eating habit

When to Visit Your Doctor

Go to your doctor in Winchester, VA, within a day or two following a head injury just to be on the safe side and check if everything’s fine with you or your child. Seek out urgent medical care if you or your child is experiencing:

  • A headache that worsens and persists over time
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Blood or fluid draining from the ears or nose
  • Unconsciousness that lasts for more than 30 seconds
  • Persistent ringing in the ears
  • Eye or vision disturbances
  • Behavior and mood changes
  • Leg and arm weakness
  • A pale appearance lasting for more than an hour
  • Changes in speech
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Evident difficulty with physical and mental coordination
  • Persistent and worsening symptoms
  • Recurrent or chronic dizziness

Do You Have a Concussion?

Arrange an appointment with one of our doctors here at the Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, by dialing (540) 667-1828.

In a nutshell, a stroke happens when blood supply to one portion of the brain is reduced or interrupted, preventing the brain from receiving enough nutrients and oxygen. When this occurs, your brain cells will start to die and continue to perish until you obtain proper treatment. This is why a stroke is an urgent medical emergency.

Fortunately, effective treatment and prevention could also help prevent the risk of complications, including permanent disability and brain damage. Here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, we offer a stroke prevention program to help people reduce their risk of developing a stroke.

Stroke Symptoms You Should Know About

  • A severe and sudden headache that might be accompanied by altered consciousness, dizziness, or vomiting.
  • Difficulty talking and understanding what other people are telling you. You may likewise feel very confused and have slurred speech.
  • You might suddenly have blackened, double, or blurred vision in one or both eyes.
  • Difficulty walking and loss of balance.
  • Numbness or paralysis of the face and/or limbs. This usually happens on just one side of the body. If you suspect these symptoms, try raising both arms at the same time over your head. If one of your arms starts falling, you could be experiencing a stroke. Additionally, you may find a part of your mouth drooping when trying to smile.

Obtaining Urgent Medical Help is Immensely Crucial

Get urgent medical help right away if you experience the stroke symptoms mentioned above, even if they disappear completely or come and go. According to the American Stroke Association, you should think “FAST” and then try to do these vital things:

  • FACE: See if you can smile and if one side of your face droops.
  • ARMS: Check if you can raise your arms. Is one arm going down or are you unable to raise one arm?
  • SPEECH: Can you speak clearly or are your words slurred? Can you speak at all?
  • TIME: The moment you feel the symptoms of a stroke, dial 911 and get emergency medical attention ASAP. Pay special attention to when you started feeling symptoms because certain stroke treatments are most effective if administered soon after the beginnings of stroke.

Remember, the longer that a stroke is left untreated, the higher the risk of permanently developing a disability or brain damage. Also, if you are with a person who you think is experiencing a stroke, call medical help immediately and try to keep the person comfortable and calm while waiting for help to arrive.

For more questions about stroke and our stroke prevention program, reach out to us here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, by dialing (540) 667-1828. We are also excited to offer Telehealth visits via your computer or smartphone. Call our office to schedule your virtual appointment.

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