A seizure may be an indication of epilepsy, but it can be caused by other reasons too. While it’s not always possible to determine why a seizure happened, you should always consult a neurologist the first time you experience a seizure. Dr. Amor Mehta can examine you to know whether you have an underlying medical problem, like epilepsy, that requires prompt treatment.
What You Should Know About Seizures
When the electrical framework in your brain fails to work efficiently, a seizure happens. Cells in the brain have a certain way of transmitting electrical impulses. However, some factors may cause the impulses to shoot off erratically, leading to a brain short circuit, and ultimately, a seizure.
Not all seizures are the same. Some last for less than a minute and have no lasting impact, while others last for several minutes and inflict short-term symptoms. The primary types of seizures are focal seizures, myoclonic seizures, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, absence seizures, and atonic seizures.
It is hard to identify the exact reason for first-time seizures in adults. But, sometimes, the culprit may be a medical condition, like a brain tumor, infection or developmental issue. Most times, a first seizure occurs before the age of 25 years.
Symptoms Of Seizures
Symptoms vary tremendously depending on the seizure type and severity. However, the following symptoms are relatively common among people who have suffered a seizure:
- Repetitive movements, like smacking lips
- Staring blankly
- Loss of consciousness
- Uncontrollable eye motion
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- A state of confusion
- Convulsions and quivering
Your neurologist will start by checking whether your body is getting adequate oxygen, the health of your vital signs, and signs of an ongoing seizure. The main aim of the medical examination is to establish whether a seizure ignited your symptoms, and, if so, its origin.
To perform a diagnosis, your neurologist may conduct or order:
- A full neurological examination
- Blood tests and other types of laboratory tests to check for irregularities in blood glucose or other variables
- Brain imaging tests, like MRIs or CT scans
- Electroencephalogram to check the electrical activity in your brain
Additionally, your doctor may ask you several questions to determine whether any of the following factors might have caused your seizure:
- Head trauma
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- High fever
- Genetic abnormality
Seizures are typically treated in the following ways:
- Following a diet that is high in fat, but low in carbohydrates
- Taking medications to manage the brain’s electrical activity
- Surgery to fix brain abnormalities
- Delivery of electrical impulses to your brain through Vagus nerve stimulation
Unfortunately, a seizure can occur at any time of day. If it occurs while you’re operating a vehicle, using a hazardous machine, or walking on a staircase, you may be severely injured.
If you or a loved one experiences a seizure for the first time, you should call a doctor straight away for a thorough examination. Your physician might be able to identify the health issue or abnormality that brought on the seizure and prescribe the right treatment.
Many times, seizures are usually not serious. But, that does not mean they do not require a medical evaluation. Seizures can be treated effectively, so that they do not disrupt your day-to-day life.