How to Tell if You're Having a Seizure

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Seizures can be very scary to watch if you have never seen one before. There are also so many types of seizures a person may be having one and you might not even realize it. Seizures occur when there is a change in the electrical functioning of the brain. This can manifest itself differently from person to person, but there are some symptoms that are quite common. You can use these symptoms to identify seizure activity.

Look for a beginning. All seizures have 3 parts: beginning, middle, and end. Each one has different symptoms. In the beginning you may begin to feel funny in your stomach, dizziness, headache, nausea, tingling feelings, feeling of agitation, blurring vision, or just a strange feeling all over. If you have never had a seizure before these symptoms might not make you think seizure, but you will begin to recognize them over time.

Look for a middle. This is the stage that most people can't mistake for seizure activity. The most obvious is convulsions, uncontrollable shaking, passing out, rolled back eyes, biting your tongue, becoming stiff, becoming confused, blacking out, falling down, and an inability to move. You can expect a person to drop to the floor, have their eyes roll back, and begin convulsing for a matter of time. If the seizure goes on for too long you will need to call an ambulance for assistance.

Look for an end. There are several key symptoms a person experiences after their seizure is over. The main one is physical exhaustion and going to sleep. A person may be weak, and may suffer some memory loss. They may be confused or embarrassed. They may have some cuts and bruises if they fell when the seizure occurred.

Get an EEG. EEG's can detect seizure activity even if you are not having a seizure at that moment. The test is simple and doesn't hurt at all, but you must be very still. A neurologist will then read the results and contact you.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have two or more seizures, you will likely be diagnosed with epilepsy.
  • It is important to seek medical treatment for any seizure that lasts longer than a few minutes. The patient may need medicine to stop the seizure.
  • If you have more than two seizures you are going to need to get on an anti-seizure drug to prevent more seizures. The sooner the better, since the medicine needs time to work its way through your blood system before it is actually effective.

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