Approximately 200,000 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed each year. This health condition is often genetic, so it may occur to several members of a family. However, the seizures from epilepsy may begin after a head trauma, including a stroke or a concussion. During an epileptic seizure, the neurons in the brain become overly active or behave in an abnormal way. Some of the symptoms from an epileptic seizure can include:
• Muscle contractions
• Loss of consciousness
• Staring into space
• Odd behavior
• Intense anxiety
• Seeing bright lights
The symptoms vary during epileptic seizures, making this condition difficult to diagnosis, especially in children. When epileptic symptoms occur, some of the problems may last for several hours while other symptoms only occur for a few seconds or minutes.
How Is Epilepsy Diagnosed?
Epilepsy is diagnosed by medical experts who use image-scanning equipment that can collect information from the brain while an individual isn’t having seizures and while the individual is having symptoms. Multiple tests are required to understand how often the individual’s brain reacts in an abnormal way during a specific amount of time.
How is Epilepsy Treated?
The primary treatment for epilepsy is medication that will prevent most symptoms. There are multiple types of anti-convulsant prescription medications, and a patient may need medication for a lifetime to prevent seizures or other symptoms. A physician can adjust or change a patient’s medications occasionally to improve the health of an individual. However, when there is a serious abnormality of the brain, including a blood clot or a tumor, a different treatment is required right away.
How Can You Help during an Epileptic Seizure?
If you see that someone is having a seizure, then you can assist by rolling the individual on the side of the body. Pulling the person’s knees up into a fetal position can keep the individual stabilized so that fluids do not enter the throat or lungs. Contact an emergency responder for the individual immediately while looking for a medical alert device on the person’s body. This item is often located around the wrist, neck or ankle, and it can provide vital information for you or the paramedics. Do not insert anything into the individual’s mouth or nose, but if there are objects that can fall on the person during the seizure, then move the things away.