The EEG records the brain's continuous electrical activity through electrodes attached to the scalp. It is used to help diagnose structural diseases of the brain and episodes such as seizures, fainting, or blacking out. This test is painless.


Preparing for an EEG:

  • Eat normally on the day of the test and do not skip meals. Avoid caffeine, which is typically found in coffee, tea or cola because this may alter the test results. There are no other food or fluid restrictions.

  • Your scalp must be accessible; hair weaving that prevents access to the scalp may need to be removed prior to your appointment.

  • Wash your hair before coming to the test and DO NOT put anything on the hair, such as gel, grease or hairspray (hair conditioner is okay). Your hair should be clean and dry, which will allow the electrodes to be placed without difficulties. Bring a comb or brush with you to the test, especially if you have long hair.

  • If your doctor ordered a sleep-deprived EEG, you are allowed only one-half (1/2) of your normal night's sleep on the night before your EEG appointment.

  • Continue to take your regular medication unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

  • You cannot bring your children with you into the EEG room.  Please arrange for childcare prior to your appointment.  We do not provide babysitting services.

  • If your child is having an EEG performed, you may accompany them to the EEG room.  Bring simple toys to keep them occupied while the electrodes are being attached.  You may also want to bring a light snack, favorite blanket or favorite pillow to make them more comfortable.  Let us know immediately if you think your child may not cooperate with our procedures.  We may give you a prescription for a sleep medication that you can administer an hour before the test.


What to expect during the EEG:

  • You will be taken to a specially equipped room where the EEG will be performed. The room contains an examination table and the EEG testing equipment.

  • The EEG technologist will measure your head (or your child’s head) and mark locations with a marker to ensure proper placement of the electrodes.

  • The scalp is then prepared by rubbing on a special skin preparation with a cotton-tipped applicator. This helps the electrodes to adhere to the scalp.

  • Electrodes will be attached to the scalp with either electrode paste or collodion (an ether-based glue).  Electrode paste is odorless and water soluble but does not hold as well. Collodion has a strong odor and is dried with compressed air which may feel cold on the scalp.  Electrode paste is squirted into the electrode after the collodion is applied.

  • Once the electrodes have been applied, the EEG technologist will tell you to relax and go to sleep if you can.  You might be exposed to flashing lights or be asked to do rapid breathing to induce certain electrical activity on the EEG.

  • When the EEG is finished, the EEG technologist will remove the electrodes with acetone, collodion remover or warm water (depending on how they were attached).  Acetone has a strong odor and feels cold on the scalp.  Collodion remover is oily and has a mild odor.


What to do after an EEG:

  • Check at the Front Desk to see if you have any more tests and to schedule your next appointment.

  • Shampoo normally at the next opportunity to remove any electrode paste from your hair and scalp.

  • Your physician will discuss the results of your tests with you at your next office visit.