What is a seizure?

A seizure is a medical event or episode in which the body convulses or jerks uncontrollably, usually due to a problem or spasm within the nervous system. Seizures can range from mild, such as a brief hand tremor, to very severe, often involving prolonged unconsciousness and temporary paralysis. They all originate in the brain, but can be activated by a variety of different things. A medical condition known as epilepsy is often one of the most common root causes.

main causes

People who experience regular seizures are usually diagnosed with epilepsy, which is characterized by synapse problems in the brain. Epileptic seizures are generally classified as "partial" or "generalized" depending on their severity. A person who has very severe seizures, even if only rarely, is often considered an epileptic.

However, it is not uncommon for a person to experience occasional seizures, usually mild, outside of epilepsy. High fevers are often to blame, especially in children. Diabetics who experience extremely low blood sugar levels may also experience them. Similarly, pregnant women who have extremely high blood pressure tall too they may be at risk; This condition is known as eclampsia and usually requires close medical supervision. Although a seizure may not pose a long-term threat to the mother, the developing fetus is at risk of reduced oxygen supply, which can lead to brain damage or even death. Brain tumors and blood clots can also be the cause, although these cases are much rarer.

partial seizures

Seizures that occur outside of epilepsy are generally considered "partial," although some epileptics may also experience this type of seizure from time to time. Partial seizures start in a discrete area of ​​the brain and usually don't cause any change in consciousness. The patient may have weakness, numbness, and experience unusual odors or tastes. Sometimes muscle or limb twitching, head turning from side to side, paralysis, vision changes, or vertigo.

Complex partial seizures are usually more severe. These occur in the temporal lobe and consciousness is usually affected. The patient often has a change in their ability to interact with the environment and may exhibit automatic and unconscious behaviors such as walking in a circle, sitting and standing repeatedly, or smacking their lips.

generalized seizures

Generalized seizures usually cause the most concern and take place in larger areas of the brain. The most serious are known as seizures. big bad ; These include specific movements of the arms and legs or the face and can occur with a loss of consciousness, often preceded by screaming or crying. Patients also commonly experience an aura, which is an unusual sensation that often acts as a harbinger or warning of things to come. The patient then falls down abruptly and begins to shake, and may become incontinent or drool or bite their tongue. This type of attack usually lasts between 5 and 20 minutes, and the patient often wakes up in a confused state and is likely to have prolonged weakness and disorientation.

The seizures minors they include a brief loss of consciousness, but there is usually no associated motor dysfunction or aura. Sometimes it seems that the person is briefly stopping what he was doing, looking for a few seconds, and then continuing with her activity. The patient usually has no recollection of the event.

Prevention and Medical Care

It can be difficult for people without medical training to diagnose seizures, and people who think they may have experienced a seizure are usually advised to seek immediate medical attention. Most causes are highly treatable, particularly if the condition is caught early on. Epilepsy, for example, is usually very easy to manage with specialized medications. Doctors and other experts can also advise patients on ways to avoid triggers, such as alcohol or lack of sleep, that can make seizures more likely.

Caring for someone having a seizure

Bystanders are often startled when they witness someone having a seizure. In most cases, the best thing you can do is time the seizure from start to finish. Most medical professionals say that if unconsciousness or other symptoms persist for more than 3 minutes emergency physicians should be called immediately.

People who see someone having a seizure should also try to protect the individual from injury. They should move sharp or dangerous objects out of the person's path, and help the person to the ground from a chair or standing position, if possible. Some sources advise placing solid objects in the grabber's mouth to prevent tongue biting, but this is generally not recommended . Medical experts generally warn that this can induce suffocation or loss of oxygen, which can make the situation worse. It is usually best for bystanders to wait out the seizure and then help comfort or care for the person after things have calmed down.

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