Blog
By contactus@affinityneurocare.com
April 02, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

How to Choose a Qualified Neurologist in Frisco

If you know it’s time to see a neurologist, then the next step is to find one. Choosing the neurologist that is right for you or a loved one is an important decision. You will depend on their knowledge, training, and expertise to recommend a practical course of treatment and your wellbeing is in their hands.

But how do you choose a qualified neurologist? How do you determine whether a neurologist is right for you? It’s a very personal decision.

Do I need a neurologist?

Neurological disorders are very complex. Symptoms can be anywhere from mild to very severe and extreme cases can seriously impact your quality of life. Some of the issues that a neurologist can treat include:

  • Migraines
  • Headaches
  • Seizures and seizure disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Facial spasms
  • Speech and language disorders
  • Neuropathy
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Neurodegenerative disorders (ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s)
  • Central nervous system disorders (brain and spinal cord)
  • Peripheral nervous system disorders (all other neural areas)

Most neurologists specialize in a particular area, and they do not perform surgery. If you have been diagnosed with a neurological disorder that requires surgery, your neurologist may refer you to a neurosurgeon.

If you suffer from a neurological disorder, you should be under the care of a qualified neurologist. Here are some tips for choosing a qualified neurologist to take your case:

1. Get a referral

If your family doctor has diagnosed you and he or she has suggested that you see a neurologist, you should be able to obtain a referral from your doctor. This is often the best way to proceed as your doctor is well-connected to the medical community in your area. Conversely, if a friend or loved one has seen a neurologist that they like and trust, do solicit their advice. If your condition runs in the family, it makes sense that you should see the same specialist.

2. Do a little research

Take some time to research the neurologist’s credentials as all of this information is publicly available. This type of background check will also tell you about the doctor’s certifications, where they went to medical school, and if there have been any malpractice suits or disciplinary actions. State websites and other sites, like healthgrades.com, are excellent resources.

3. Find out what the neurologist specializes in

Not all neurologists specialize in the same things. For instance, if you have migraines, you should choose a neurologist that specialized in headaches. The more experience your doctor has in your condition, the more likely it is that your treatment will be a success.

4. Choose a doctor you feel comfortable with

Studies show that your doctor’s “bedside manner” makes a significant impact on your treatment outcomes. People who can communicate easily with their doctor and trust his advice are more likely to follow that advice and achieve a positive care outcome.

5. Book a consultation

Booking an initial consultation will help you get to know your doctor a little better and will give you an impression of how you relate to each other. The neurologist you choose should take a keen interest in who you are as a person and not be dismissive of your complaints. Keep in mind that you need to be able to understand and communicate well with your neurologist as trust is a critical element of your treatment plan. Ask lots of questions and be sure the doctor is answering those questions in plain language.

6. Check your insurance coverage

Before you enter into a treatment plan, be sure to check what your insurance will and will not cover. You should also speak to the front office staff at the neurologist’s office to be sure they accept your insurance. Office staff should also be able to let you know which treatments are covered and which are not. You should never have to be shocked by your bill on the way out the door.

7. Be prepared to follow your doctor’s advice

While the process of choosing a qualified neurologist in Frisco may seem a little daunting at first, you will be glad you put the time and effort into it once you decide on the best doctor for you. Ultimately, you are choosing an individual who is highly trained in a very specific area of medicine, and the treatment they prescribe will be explicitly designed to improve your condition and quality of life. This is likely the most critical aspect of the process as if you are not willing to follow your doctor’s advice, you may not get the relief you seek.

Are you looking for a qualified neurologist in Frisco, TX? Affinity Neurocare is here to help. Our patients depend on us for qualified advice and treatments that are tailored to their specific neurological needs. Call our offices today to schedule a consultation.

By contactus@affinityneurocare.com
February 24, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Having a network of trusted healthcare providers helps you live the very best life you can live. When you feel great, you will be able to work, live, laugh, and enjoy all the things you love to do. If living a longer, more productive life is a priority for you and your family, then having a trusted healthcare team to rely on is essential. 

 

While you may still be young, longevity is not something anyone should take for granted. We all think we will live forever when we are young, but aging is an inevitability. In America, the average expected lifespan is about 80 years. It’s not forever, but it is a really long time! Long enough that we should all plan to take very good care of ourselves so that this time does not have to be spent in ill health. 

 

Of course, some problems are predisposed from a genetic standpoint. Chronic issues like diabetes, heart disease, and vascular disease can be passed from generation to generation, but even with a propensity to these diseases, it is possible to avoid symptoms. By monitoring your blood and general health, you can live a happier and more productive life, now and well into your sunset years. 

 

Healthcare is not a luxury

We hear this all too often: I can’t afford to see my doctor. But can you afford not to? 

When you consider the true costs of allowing diseases and pain to take over your life, you might not think it’s such a bad risk. 

Sure, most of us don’t think about going to the doctor until there is something seriously wrong. However, if you know you have an issue—even if you know you are at risk for developing a health issue—you should be under the care of a trusted medical professional. All things considered, the cost of monitoring your health will be significantly lower than it will be if and when the problem becomes acute. 

 

The actual cost of chronic illness

When you become sick, it costs you and your family in many different ways. First, you may be unable to work or be forced to work at a reduced capacity. This may put you into a state of financial difficulty to the point where you won’t be able to live comfortably anymore. Without adequate health coverage, you may not be able to afford the best treatments and therapies to put you on the track to health. You may even face a loss of mobility and early death, leaving your loved ones without a source of security. 

Granted, sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether your health is actually in jeopardy. You may not feel “quite right,” but you’re not an expert. Most of us, when we feel under the weather, tend to pass it off as something that will go away if we rest. Some symptoms, however, can be concerning and you may not know you are in danger until it’s too late. 

For instance, unchecked high blood pressure can lead to stroke, which can then lead to vascular dementia. This is not true in all cases, but there is a risk. If you are being monitored by your healthcare team regularly, this would not be an issue. Your doctor would suggest lifestyle changes, prescribe medication for you to take, and generally, your life would not have to change too much. You could go on working and enjoying life to the fullest with no restrictions. 

 

The same is true for many neural disorders. They can present with troubling symptoms, such as severe headaches, visual acuity problems, dizziness, numbness in the extremities, and more besides. If you experience symptoms like these, it is imperative that you consult a doctor immediately. 

 

Concussions can also be very dangerous if they are undiagnosed. A concussion is a severe type of head injury and, sometimes, the full extent of the damage done will not appear right away. The nature of the injury itself may make it difficult to diagnose as you might not think anything is wrong with you. 

Accessible, affordable healthcare in Frisco, Texas

The bottom line is that if you are not feeling like yourself or if you have a sudden onset of symptoms such as severe headaches, light sensitivity, mental confusion, seizures, weakness or numbness of any part of your body, you should see a doctor right away. 

 

Your healthcare team can help determine how serious your symptoms are and get you the help you need to get back to normal. When you consider the costs of long-term care, loss of income, medication, and worst of all, losing the ability to enjoy your life and loved ones, the answer should be clear. 

 

Affinity Neurocare offers accessible, affordable healthcare in Frisco, Texas. Reach out today to schedule an appointment. We are here to help you live a long, healthy, and productive life.

By contactus@affinityneurocare.com
January 25, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Migraines are a severe and painful form of headache that often recurs. If you have ever suffered a migraine before, you know how debilitating it can be. It can force you to miss work or withdraw from normal activities for hours and sometimes for days at a time. 

Anyone who has ever suffered from a migraine knows that it is not a typical headache by any description. Some migraines are accompanied by an aura, which combines intense headache pain with other sensory disturbances including nausea, vomiting, numbness, and weakness.

 

A migraine can progress through four distinct stages, though not everybody who has migraines will experience all of them. The stages are: 

1.      Prodome: The prodome phase may begin one or two days before the headache sets in. Symptoms can include severe mood swings, neck stiffness, increased thirst, persistent need to urinate, yawning more than usual, and constipation.

2.      Aura: Auras are symptomatic of nervous system disruption manifested in visual disturbances such as tunnel vision, zigzag or wavy vision, light flashes, spirals or sparkles and, occasionally, temporary blindness. Nausea, vomiting, pins and needles in arms or legs, weakness on one side of the body or the face, auditory hallucinations (hearing things), and muscles tics or twitches can also occur.

3.      Headache: During the attack, you may feel intense throbbing or pulsing pain on one or both sides of your head, sensitivity to light, smell, and touch, weakness or lightheadedness, and blurry vision.

4.      Post-drome: The final phase of a migraine usually makes people feel fatigued, drained or confused. You may also feel dizzy or lightheaded, although some people report feeling euphoric. You may continue to experience sensitivity to light, sound, and smell.

 

What causes migraines?

Migraines are a relatively common complaint. It is estimated that about 13 percent of Americans between the ages of 15 and 55 suffer from migraines. Women are three times more likely than men to have migraines. Migraines generally peak in your 30s. 

While the exact cause of migraines is still unknown, there is research to support the idea that a person’s genetic makeup can make them more susceptible to certain migraine triggers. 

Other possible causes could include a chemical imbalance in the brain, specifically serotonin, which aids in regulating pain messages between the CNS and the brain. Serotonin levels plummet during a migraine attack, triggering a nerve response that causes pain. For some, medications that regulate serotonin can be prophylactic.

 

What are your triggers?

Some people are more prone to migraines than others for a range of reasons. It is important to understand what triggers your migraines so that you can do your best to avoid them. Keeping a diary to make note of these triggers as it may help you manage your condition. 

If you can determine what your triggers might be, it may help you a great deal. If you have just started having severe headaches, be aware of things like environmental factors (smells, scents), temperature, specific foods you eat or drink, medications you take or any stress factors that precede an episode.

 

Some of these triggers can include: 

·         Hormonal changes: Women may experience migraines during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause.

·         Hormone medications: Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can trigger migraines or make them worse. However, some women find that these medications help reduce the incidence of migraines.

·         Food and drink: Processed foods, yeast, salt, fermented foods (including alcohol), and caffeinated food and drinks (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate) may cause migraines.

·         Food additives: MSG, artificial sweeteners, and various preservatives or chemical ingredients can be a migraine trigger.

·         Fasting: Skipping meals or fasting can be a migraine trigger.

·         Stress: Physical and mental stress of any kind can precede a migraine attack.

·         Over-exertion: Running, weight training, and even intense sexual activity.

·         Smells: scents can trigger migraines for some, though this is often related to an allergic reaction.

·         Weather: sudden changes in barometric pressure can be a migraine trigger.  

·         Medications: certain types of medicine, both prescription and over-the-counter, can cause migraines. Vasodilators especially, including nitroglycerin (taken for angina pain) can be a trigger, as can oral contraceptives. 

While not everybody will experience migraines as a result of these circumstances, they could be a trigger for you. Once you understand what brings on your migraines, it will be easier to take steps to either mitigate or avoid them altogether.

Migraine solutions: tips to help you cope

When you feel you have a migraine coming on, do not hesitate. If you have been prescribed medication for migraines, you should take it as soon as you notice the first sign. If caught early, you may be able to lessen the pain and duration with over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin (ASA). 

See a migraine specialist

If you have frequent and/or severe migraines, you should see a specialist right away. Affinity Neurocare is a neurologic migraine specialist in Frisco, TX, and we can help. We will work closely with you to determine the causes of your migraines and craft a treatment plan to help you cope.

 

Call today to set up an assessment.

By contactus@affinityneurocare.com
December 18, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Finding an epilepsy doctor in Frisco, Texas, can be challenging. Your family doctor may not be well-versed in caring for such a condition and it is imperative, if you or a loved one suffers from any kind of seizure disorder, that you are under the care of a specialist who can offer the best possible solutions.

More than 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with some type of seizure disorder every single year. Cases range from mild to severe and even debilitating, but regardless of the severity or frequency, not being treated for your seizures can lead to serious consequences.

Diagnosing your seizures

Many things can trigger seizures. Some are temporary conditions that arise as a result of external stressors, such as severe allergies or an adverse reaction to a drug or an environmental circumstance. In other cases, they can be caused by brain trauma suffered in an accident, an infection, a tumor, or nerve damage that arises from another condition.

Regardless of the cause, it is extremely important to get an accurate diagnosis before embarking on any course of treatment. In some cases, it will be relatively easy to pinpoint the cause of your seizures, but in others, it may require a series of tests to arrive at a conclusion.

We begin by meeting with you to discuss your seizures. This helps us categorize the type and severity of the episodes and will direct us in developing a plan. This will include a complete neurological workup, where we look at your motor abilities and mental function to see if there is a disconnect between your brain and your nervous system.

Next, we will perform an electroencephalograph (EEG), during which we attach electrodes to your scalp to record the electrical activity in your brain. There are different types of EEGs; some are performed awake and some a combination of awake/asleep. If it is the latter, you may have to stay overnight in a hospital.

CT Scans are also a common diagnostic tool for seizures. This will help us rule out certain causes, like tumors and bleeding.

Blood tests can also tell us a lot about your seizures, especially when the cause is a genetic anomaly or an infection. We may also perform a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) if we need to narrow down a specific type of infection.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may show tissue damage in the brain. If this is present, it could be the cause of your seizures.

A PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography) requires an injection of radioactive dye, which highlights areas of your brain where a change in normal chemistry is present.

A SPECT test (Single-Photon Emission Computerized Tomography) also uses radioactive material and is used to determine what part of the brain your seizures are coming from.

We use one or more of these tests to narrow down the root cause of your seizures so that we may more accurately plan a course of treatment for you. As each patient’s circumstances are completely different, we take a personalized approach to each case. This ensures you are getting care that is tailored specifically for you and your unique situation.

Types of seizure treatments

While epilepsy is often treated with seizure medication, in some cases, the seizure is an isolated incident that may not happen again. In that case, such as if the seizure is caused by an allergic reaction or from infection, removing the cause is the best course of action and ongoing treatment with seizure medication is unnecessary.

Determining the cause of your seizure is key, as we don’t automatically prescribe medication if it is not needed.

Seizure medication

The ultimate goal is to control the episodes and minimize the possible side-effects from seizure medication. If your doctor determines that you require seizure medications, we will monitor you closely to be sure you are doing well. We will also look at other medications you may be taking to ensure that there is no potential for harmful drug interactions.

Surgery

There are other forms of treatment for seizures, some surgical. We always start with the least invasive option and proceed from there. In severe cases, it may be necessary to surgically remove some brain tissue from the area where the seizures are originating.

Implants

Implants can also be considered and have been highly successful in some cases. Some types of implants deliver deep brain stimulation or vagus nerve stimulation while others control the electrical impulses in the brain that lead to a seizure. As each case is so very different, we will always work hard to determine the type of treatment that will be best suited for you.

In conclusion, if you are having seizures and you either don’t know the cause or are not receiving adequate treatment, you need to see a specialist immediately.

If you live in Frisco, Texas, or surrounding areas, Affinity Neurocare offers seizure treatments that leverage the latest research and technology to ensure your wellbeing.

Call today to schedule an assessment or to learn more about how we can help.

By Affinity Neurocare
April 24, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Welcome to the Blog of Affinity Neurocare

Affinity Neurocare would like to welcome you to our blog. Here you will find informative and useful postings about your health and our practice.

At Affinity Neurocare we believe that educated patients are better prepared to make decisions regarding their overall health and wellbeing.  Our blog was designed to provide you with valuable health care information, the latest medical developments and health advice from our dedicated team. 

Affinity Neurocare hopes you find our blog to be a great resource for keeping up to date with proper health care and treatments.

We welcome all comments and questions.

-- Affinity Neurocare





This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.