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Getting an Electroencephalogram (EEG) in Central California

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a noninvasive diagnostic test that measures your brain’s electrical activity.

Technicians at Dignity Health perform EEGs in Central California to diagnose or monitor neurological conditions that can affect your brain. For expert care, Find a Doctor at: 


What a EEG Test Can Help Diagnose at Dignity Health Central California

Your doctor may recommend an EEG test to detect or monitor:

  • Seizures, including those caused by epilepsy
  • Brain diseases like encephalopathy
  • Brain tumors
  • Unexpected changes in brain function, including coma
  • Infections
  • Head injuries
  • Sleep disorders
  • Brain activity during brain surgery


How Does an EEG Work?

An electroencephalogram is a minimally invasive test you can get at a doctor’s office, a hospital, or a laboratory. An experienced EEG technician performs it and sends the results to your doctor. Expect an EEG test to take between one to several hours, depending on why you need it. If you’re getting an EEG for a sleep study, the test could take eight hours or more. If you need a longer EEG scan, your doctor may ask you to wear an appliance for up to three days as you go about your daily life.

For most EEGs, you will lie down on a bed or a recliner and sticky electrodes will be placed over your scalp and possibly parts of your face. The EEG technician will connect the electrodes to a recording machine with wires. You’ll have to lie still with your eyes closed and may be asked to do certain activities, such as look at a flashing strobe light or breathing fast. 

Before having an EEG, you’ll get specific instructions on how to prepare. Usually, you should:

  • Wash your hair the night before; do not use any hair products, including conditioner
  • Continue taking all prescribed medications unless your doctor tells you otherwise
  • Avoid all caffeine for eight hours before the test

An EEG is generally safe. The test is often used to diagnose epilepsy; parts of the procedure, such as viewing a strobe light, may trigger a seizure. The EEG technician is trained to respond should this happen.


What Happens After an Electroencephalogram

Right after your EEG, you can return to your normal activities. If you have a seizure during the test, the technician will give you specific instructions.

An EEG is often used as a seizure test to help your doctor determine if you have epilepsy. It also diagnoses many other brain conditions. Doctors at Dignity Health Central California will review your EEG to diagnose your condition, taking you one step closer to getting the personalized treatment you need. Treatments for brain conditions can improve your quality of life and may even cure your condition. 

Dignity Health Central California diagnoses seizures and other brain conditions by performing electroencephalograms (EEG) in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.