EEG, electroencephalography, is the most prominent method of diagnosing epileptic preparing a child for an EEG. It is also used to monitor brain activity during surgery, check for dementia, sleep disorders and more. An EEG study detects the electrical activity happening within the brain and captures brainwave data so a doctor can analyze the results for an accurate diagnosis.
Some meds may have the potential to affect the brain’s electrical activity and throw off the test results with abnormal readings. Your doctor may ask that you refrain from taking certain medications while you are undergoing an EEG to avoid any interference. Be Aware of What You Eat Certain types of foods can alter the electrical activity in the brain. Foods that contain caffeine—such as soda, chocolate, tea, and coffee—have the potential to alter the results of the test. You should refrain from ingesting any caffeine for 12 hours before the test begins. Your doctor may have other types of food and drink that they want you to refrain from eating as well. When you have your EEG, a certified technician will attach electrodes to your scalp with a special glue.
The electrodes are harmless, but it is critical to make sure they make a proper connection to your scalp. In order to help with this, it is important that you wash your hair before the test. Shampoo it and rinse it with clean water. If that’s the case, your doctor may ask that you sleep less the night before so sleep comes easier. Many people believe it will be difficult to sleep when they have the electrodes on their head, so feeling a little “extra tired” that day can help. If you have a child who is having an EEG, you may be encouraged to have your child skip his or her normal naptime. These simple steps tend to be the most important factors that your doctor will want you to do when preparing for your EEG study.