Epilepsy is a disorder where you have recurrent seizures.You have seizures or fits due to abnormal electrical activity in some areas or whole of your brain. During a fit, your behavior will be strange. You will act as if you are not aware of the surroundings and may or may not have abnormal movements of the body. Sometimes, you may even loose consciousness.
- Symptoms That Indicates You Need Epilepsy Treatment:
Some of the common signs are:
- A sudden period of confusion where you find it hard to understand what is going on
- A staring spell where you will stop doing whatever you were doing and stare at a space ahead. It is more common in children aged between 4-14.
- Uncontrollable movements of your arms and legs
- Loss of consciousness
- A feeling of fear and anxiety
These signs may vary based on the type of seizure. However, you will have the same ones during the different spells.
- Types OfSeizures:
The doctors classify seizures into two main types, which are FocalSeizures and GeneralizedSeizures. While focal seizures are those which are related to abnormal activity in one part of the brain, causing abnormal movement in one body part like the hand or foot without the loss of consciousness and generalized seizures involve all areas of the brain, causing tonic – clonic movement of the whole body with loss of consciousness.
There are two types of focal seizures:
- Simple Partial Seizures – which is limited to only one part of the body.
- Complex Partial seizures – which progresses to involve the whole body after starting from one part. This type is associated with loss of consciousness.
There are six types of generalized seizures:
- Absence seizures - It occurs mostly in children where they stare into space which lasts for only few seconds.Multiple episodes occur in a day. Blinking of the eye and smacking of the lips are other signs.
- Tonic seizures - The muscles in your arms, legs will become stiff, and you may fall.
- Drop seizures - You lose control of your muscle movements due to loss of tone making you fall down and hurt yourself. These seizures mainly occur in children.
- Clonic seizures - You will show repeated muscle movements mainly in your neck, face, and arms.
- Myoclonic seizures - If you have this type, you will have sudden jerks in your arms and legs.
- Tonic-clonic seizures - These have many signs. You will become unconscious. Your body will become stiff to start with, then you would have jerky movements which would last for few minutes followed by loss of tone. You would have bladder incontinence, clenching of teeth and tongue bite.You would regain consciousness after about 15 – 20 min.
- Causes & Risk Factors of Epilepsy:
About 50% of the cases are idiopathic or no reason found. Some of the major causes and risk factors of Epilepsy:
- Genetics: Epilepsy tends to run in families, so you are at a higher risk if someone in your family had it.
- Head injury: Road traffic accidents or any other incidents where your head is injured can be a reason.
- Brain damage: Conditions like a brain tumor and stroke are one of the causes of epilepsy in adults above 35 years.
- Infections: Some infections like meningitis, AIDS and viral encephalitis can be a cause.
If you have epilepsy, it can lead to other issues as well.
Falling - You may fall during a fit spell which may cause skull fracture or fracture of bones.
Accidents – You are prone for having road traffic accidents, drowning, injuries while sports if you have a seizure while doing these activities.
Pregnancy complications - Seizures during pregnancy can cause damage to both mother and baby. Anti epileptic medicines can also cause developmental anomalies in fetus.
Developmental delay – Epilepsy in newborns and young children causes developmental delays in them. Mental issues - Epilepsy can lead to mental problems like depression and anxiety.
If you or someone you know are experiencing any of the symptoms of epilepsy and seizures, it’s time you approach neurosurgeon Dr.Gurneet Singh Sawhney and avail right epilepsy treatment & seizure treatment as well as in extreme cases, epilepsy surgery.