When people hear the word seizure, they mostly imagine someone who has collapsed and is in the throes of painful convulsions. And whereas it's true that some individuals will experience these types of symptoms, it's not always the case.
There are, in fact, a lot of misconceptions individuals have about seizures, including what causes them and what you must do if someone experiences one. Here are five simple facts that can help you explain not only what seizures are, in fact what they are not:
- Seizures Are Not Contagious
A seizure can be a very terrifying experience, so much so that individual’s natural reaction is to move away. In many cases, it may be because a person fears that seizures are somehow contagious. As different as this may seem, a survey conducted by the Epilepsy Foundation in 2001 proved that, among 19,000 people interviewed, approx. half of those under 18 remained uncertain as to whether you could actually "catch" epilepsy.
The bottom line is that: seizures are not at all contagious, and you cannot "catch" or "spread" epilepsy by coming in touch that has or had one.
- You Can Have a Seizure at Any Age
Seizures can happen from birth right through to the later years of life. Infants are mostly weak to seizures when faced with or else uncomplicated abnormalities such as a fever (pyrexia) or drinking too much water (that latter of which flushes great quantity of sodium from the body and upsets brain activity).
On the flip side, seizures remain an ordinary feature of aging-related neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. With aged adults who have had a stroke, approx. ten percent with a hemorrhagic stroke (a brain bleed) and eight percent with an ischemic stroke (involving a blocked blood vessel) will experience one or more than one seizures. In all, around one of every 20 individual living to the age of 80 will have a seizure.
- There Are Various Types of Seizures
A seizure is at times traumatically apparent. At other times, it may be hardly noticed. A classic tonic-clonic seizure is the kind most of us recognize from TV where an individual will experience the jerking as well as the stiffening of the entire body. By contrast, an absence seizure may be a reason for a person to suddenly "blank out" for a moment before gaining back to full consciousness. There is even a type named as an atonic seizure where a body part will suddenly go limp or the head will suddenly drop for few seconds.
- You Can Have Multiple Type of Seizure
Widely speaking, there are three types of seizure that a person can experience:
- Generalized onset seizures are the ones which affect both sides of the brain at the same time and can include such a tonic-clonic, absence, and atonic seizures.
- Focal onset awareness seizures normally affect one side of the brain and occur when the person is completely aware and awake.
- Focal onset impaired awareness seizures also affect one side of the brain but can create gaps in consciousness.
Whereas an epileptic may experience only one type of seizure, it is possible to be affected by many. In such a case, a person may need different forms of treatment to control the different types of seizures.
- It’s Not Necessary to Take Medication for Your Seizures
As treatment is common for people coping with epilepsy, those experiencing incidental seizures usually don't need treatment. Whereas, doctors will more often treat the underlying cause whether it be a fever, an imbalance of electrolytes or blood sugar, or a drug-related event.
On the other hand, individual with a serious neurological disorder will many a times require antiepileptic drugs to control recurrent seizures. This is particularly true for people with brain cancer; 60 percent of those will experience a seizure as a result of a malignancy or neurosurgery.