Posted: 03/18/2016

How to Recognize a Seizure

Seizure_epilepsy_concept

A seizure can occur for a number of different reasons, including a drug reaction, head trauma, infection, or genetic brain condition. Epilepsy is defined by a long-term risk of recurrent seizures. It can be difficult to predict when a seizure is going to occur, but the symptoms are usually pretty recognizable. Below are a few of the warning signs and symptoms to look out for.

Warning Signs before a Seizure
Some people who have epilepsy will experience an aura, i.e. a perceptual change that indicates they are about to have a seizure. Different people experience auras differently, but most people report that their personal aura symptoms do not change from seizure to seizure. Aura symptoms may include:

  • Sense of dread or fear
  • Feeling of déjà vu
  • Changes in sense of smell, taste, or touch
  • Headaches
  • Feeling spacey, confused, or unable to snap out of a daydream
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Lightheadedness

Potential Symptoms of a Seizure
The ictus phase of a seizure occurs when the brain is flooded with abnormal electrical signals, temporarily disrupting the brain’s normal electrical functioning. There are different types of seizures with different symptoms, and in some cases, an individual might not even recognize that what they experienced was a seizure.


Image Source: http://www.efepa.org/living-with-epilepsy/

Some of the most common sensory symptoms of a seizure include:

  • Feeling detached from body
  • Vision changes (e.g. temporary blurriness, seeing flashing lights)
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Memory lapses or blacking out
  • Auditory changes (e.g. temporary loss of hearing, or things sound different than they normally do)

Possible physical symptoms of a seizure include:

  • Tremors or jerking movements of arms or legs
  • Loss of control of eye movement, rapid blinking
  • Dilated pupils
  • Pale skin
  • Tense or weak muscles
  • Difficulty talking, breathing, or swallowing
  • Loss of control of bladder or bowels
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fast, jerking movements of whole body (convulsions)

After experiencing a seizure, some people recover immediately, while others may find that it takes several minutes or hours for them to feel like their normal self again. If you have experienced a seizure and don’t know the cause, you may need to have a neurologist perform diagnostic tests. Fortunately, if your doctor determines that you have epilepsy or another seizure disorder, there are many medications available that can help control and prevent future seizures.

By HelpRx Staff Writer

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

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