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An electroencephalogram (or EEG) is a painless test to measure the activity in your brain.

Your consultant may order an EEG to help diagnose or investigate several kinds of brain or sleep disorders.

What happens during an EEG?

The length of your EEG will be determined by what condition your consultant is investigating. The whole procedure is painless and you will be able to go home the day of your EEG.

A technician will apply about 20 electrodes (metal discs) to your scalp using a special paste. The electrodes are attached by wires to a special machine called an encephalograph. You will be lying down or sitting throughout the test so that you can relax.

The electrodes will measure the activity (electrical signals) in your brain. You may be asked to close or eyes, breathe deeply or be shown a flashing light. All these activities produce different levels of activity in your brain.

Going home after an EEG

You should be able to go home and return to normal activities right after your EEG. Some of the special electrode paste may stay in your hair after the electrodes are removed. This should wash out easily.

The results of your EEG test will be analysed by a specialist who interprets the recordings. They will be sent to your consultant for discussion and planned treatment.

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