Epilepsy is truly terrifying, for someone experiencing it as well as their loved ones to witness the unseen emotional and physical impact. Here are the 4 things you might not know about epilepsy:
- Epilepsy is a brain disorder which leads to seizures that are usually like electric storms in the brain.
Epilepsy is called as a seizure disorder, a disorder of the brain that leads to repeated, unprovoked seizures. Those seizures are caused by flow of electrical activity in the brain, mostly compared to an electric storm. In many of the cases, the reason of epilepsy is not known. The challenge for majority of the neurosurgeons presently is to know the genetic architecture underlying individual epilepsy.
- Only few patients with epilepsy has convulsive, jerking seizures.
The truth is there are many patients who have experienced epilepsy "partial" (or focal) seizures. They harm one part of the brain and can result in an aura, physiological reactions, or motor and sensory modifications. They can lead a person to stare expressionlessly and/or smack their lips, wander around, pluck at their attire, or perform various bizarre (but involuntary) actions.
The dramatic convulsions that many patients associate with epilepsy are a result of a seizure affecting both sides of the brain together. These "generalized" seizures can also result in "staring spells," brief body jerking, and "drop attacks" (all of a sudden falling on the ground).
- When a patient suffers from a convulsive seizure, you must protect, support them, as well as be on their side.
When the patient is suffering from a convulsive seizure (or you know/they have indicated they are about to), lightly roll them on one side (to let any fluids to drain out of their mouth and keep their airway open), hold up their head, keep all the dangerous objects away (like their glasses), and note down the timing of the seizure. If a seizure lasts more than five minutes, call the doctor immediately.
Seizures mostly end just in few minutes and keeping the patient safe from injury at the time of a seizure and keep a note to the seizure duration are the best first aid. "If a seizure lasts more than five minutes, then the risks can be higher and emergency care may become more vital. If a person is unknown to already have epilepsy or has a serious medical condition, then emergency care may be needed faster.
For different types of seizures, it is necessary to stay with the person, calmly guide them from danger.
- Don’t ever forcefully put something into the mouth of person having a seizure.
It’s physically not possible to swallow one’s own tongue or a “bite block” etc. could lead to serious injury.
The patient suffering from a convulsive seizure can briefly stop breathing and have a blue skin color, but it is said that "this is usually because of the diaphragm becoming stiff along with the other muscles for breathing."
This is normal as well as brief, and the patient will commence breathing normally again as soon as their muscles relax. Avoid mouth-to-mouth or CPR at the time of a convulsive seizure. Turn the person on their side with their mouth facing downward, as it is the perfect way to keep their airway open.