A seizure is a sporadic movement caused by a quick change in the brain’s electrical functioning in the cortex. A seizure is sudden and scary for people witnessing the action. Most people experience a blackout and wake up on the ground with no recollection of the seizure. A seizure has a warning sign often called an aura. Aura symptoms: déjà vu, blurriness or vision loss, racing thoughts, weird stomach sensations, tingling, fear or panic, dizziness, headache, lightheadedness, nausea, and numbness.
Sometimes seizures come without a warning and it happens suddenly. The seizure itself is a series of convulsions usually seen as sudden movements and blacking out. A seizure has physical symptoms and sensory feelings: blackout, sensory loss, confusion, out of body experience, fear/panic, difficulty talking, drooling, foot stomping, flailing body limbs, falling down, making sounds, shaking, stuttering, and tremors.
After the seizure, the person may appear to be waking from a trance and have memory loss of what has happened. They may be on the floor and people will often be looking to see if he or she is okay. The person often feels embarrassed, shameful, depressed, weak, and scared for going through a seizure. IF the person is not known to have epilepsy, the episode is very scary. They may not know how to help or what to do.
A seizure can be treated with daily medication. An exam is usually taken to see if the person has epilepsy, a brain disorder marked by seizures or convulsions. The brain’s electrical signals get abnormally excited and cause the sudden movements and often, blackouts. The cortex of the brain gets excited, sometimes triggered by flashing lights, and starts firing random signals which cause the body to act wildly. Seizures that happen without immediate cause are often epilepsy. Some seizures are caused by brain disease, stroke, drugs or drug withdrawal, dementia, brain injury, abnormal levels of sodium or glucose in the blood, or from tumors. Any age group can have seizures, even children.
People who may have epilepsy are taken to have an EEG test, a electroencephalograph that reads electrical signals coming from the brain. Blood tests are taken to rule out other causes of the seizures. An MRI or Spinal Tap may also be taken to test for other causes, especially if the seizure may have been caused by another condition.
Epilepsy can limit activities for people with the brain disorder. If the seizures happen more often, the person should not drive, drink, or do drugs. If the person has a seizure while driving, or operating heavy machinery, then the effects could be devastating. If the seizures are less common or rare, then the person can live a less-affected life. People with epilepsy should wear a medical alert bracelet or carry ID in their wallet in case they have a seizure suddenly in a public place and will need assistance. Very rarely do serious conditions occur with epilepsy, but if the person experiences a series of close seizures than the lack of oxygen to the brain and organs may cause failure or damage that worsens the condition.
For the person experiencing it, a seizure is scary and uncontrollable. The person may feel his or her own body moving wildly but experience a loss of vision or black out. People watching the episode may be scared, too, especially if the person does not usually have convulsions. It is important to be aware of seizure symptoms so that the proper medical care can be provided. If you or someone you know has seizures or epilepsy, make sure they are wearing an ID so that paramedics can properly help them.