An EEG is a test that shows electrical activity of the brain. Your doctor will order this test to evaluate many problems such as seizures, headaches, stroke, head injury, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
What should I do to get ready for this test?
- You must wash your hair before the test.
- Do not use hair spray, gels, mousse, conditioner, tonic or any hair care products.
- If you take medicines, take them as you usually would.
- Eat as you usually do, but do not have coffee, tea, soda, chocolate or any food that has caffeine in it on the day of the test.
If you are having a Sleep EEG, do not sleep for more than three or four hours the night before the test so that you can sleep during the test. If your order states that chloral hydrate can be given during the test, you must bring someone with you who can take you home after the test.
How long does the test take?
This test takes about 1½ hours.
How is the test done?
You may be asked about your health. This information will help your doctor read the test results.
- You will be asked to lie down.
- The person doing the test will measure and mark your head with a washable marker. These areas on your head will be washed with a liquid and a paste will be put over the marks.
- Small metal disks (electrodes) will be stuck to the paste. The electrodes will send your brain’s electrical signals to the EEG machine where they are recorded on paper or computer. Your hair will not be cut. This will not hurt and the markings and paste will wash out after the test.
- During the test, you will be asked to lie quietly. A bright light may be flashed in front of your eyes. You may be asked to breathe quickly and deeply for several minutes. You may be given medicine (chloral hydrate) to help you sleep if your doctor has ordered a Sleep EEG.
What happens after the test?
You should have no pain or side effects after the test. The person doing the test will wash as much of the paste out of your hair as possible.
If you needed to sleep during the test, you may still feel drowsy. Plan to sleep when you get home. If you were given any medicine to help you sleep, you should not drive, operate equipment or make important decisions for the rest of the day.
You may go about your normal activities. You may eat as you usually would.
When will I get the results of the test?
Your doctor will tell you the results of the test. If you have not heard from your doctor within a week, you should call your doctor and ask about the results.
What if I have questions about the test?
Your questions are very important to us. If you have any questions about the test or how it is done, please call 484-526-4627.