A seizure is a condition in which the patient has unexpected convulsions. When a seizure happens, it is because there is an abnormal attack of brain activity. The brain can not handle this barrage of information, and the patient may begin to convulse. These convulsions can last from a few seconds to a few minutes, but if a seizure lasts more than ten minutes, then emergency services must be contacted.
Because there are so many different types of seizures, there are a variety of symptoms that could be present. In more severe seizures these symptoms are more profoundly shown, whereas partial seizures may not show all of these symptoms. It is important to note that these symptoms will not harm the patient unless the jerking of the body causes the patient to hit his or her head or fall down stairs. The common symptoms of a seizure are listed below:
- Involuntary jerking motions in the arms, legs, and other various body parts
- Involuntary urination
- Involuntary bowel movements
- Bouts of falling unconscious
- Involuntary vomiting
After the seizure the patient may feel the following symptoms:
The causes of various seizures can be chronic or episodic, meaning that the patient’s seizure or seizures can be reoccurring. This often depends on which type of seizure that he or she is experiencing. The most common cause of seizures is idiopathic epilepsy. This is when the brain has a disease that causes seizures, although the reason for these recurring seizures is not known. Other causes that could contribute to a seizure are listed below. These are not chronic causes; therefore, these episodic causes may only cause one seizure.
- Head injury
- Drug withdrawal
- Alcohol withdrawal
- High fever
- Brain tumor
The diagnosis of a seizure is fairly simple in generalized seizures. This is because these kinds of seizures involve symptoms that cannot be ignored unless they are not seen by another person.
- In order for a doctor to diagnose a patient with seizures or epilepsy, the seizure must be triggered. This is often done when a strobe light is set off in the patient’s face. The seizure is then dealt with and treatment is prescribed.
- For partial seizures diagnosis may be more difficult, but if you suspect that you or someone around you is having a partial seizures, then you should consult a doctor or other health care provider.
The treatment that is used in order to treat a seizure is often through prevention of another seizure, because the main cause of seizures, epilepsy, cannot be cured as of yet.
- For recurrent seizures the treatment is often anticonvulsants, or medication that inhibits the seizure.
- These anticonvulsants come in a variety of strengths and brands, allowing the patient’s doctor to give him or her the prescription that is the most effective.
- The treatment for a seizure that does not reoccur is to either begin anticonvulsants for a limited time, or the patient may opt to forgo treatment if the cause was known and episodic.