Do you know what causes a seizure?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder of the brain, where a person has recurring seizures. It is not contagious, a mental illness or a mental impairment. It is not even a single disease.
Causes can include head trauma, brain tumor and stroke, infection and maternal injury and abnormal brain development. Some forms are hereditary. In 70 percent of cases, there is no known cause.
Do you know what causes a seizure?
There are many possible triggers for seizures and they are sometimes very specific to the patient. Some common ones include: failure to take medications, lack of sleep, stress and anxiety, dehydration, photo-sensitivity including strobe lights, menstrual cycle, hormonal changes and environmental factors.
Do you know what a seizure looks like?
Seizures can look different depending on its classification and severity.
A simple partial seizure could be uncontrollable shaking movements of hands, arms of legs, sensory seizures like flashing lights in peripheral vision or hearing bells ringing.
A complex partial seizure is the most common type. People become unaware of surroundings and unable to respond, with repetitive, purposeless movement like lip smacking, hand wringing or wandering. They can last about three minutes.
An absence seizure is characterized by brief staring that can be confused with daydreaming or confused with not paying attention. It starts and ends abruptly and can happen many times a day.
A generalized tonic clonic, formerly called a grand mal seizure, is not the most common type. This is the type most people think of when they hear the word seizure. A person is completely unconscious with a loss of control, and may have a sudden fall. The person may cry out or make noise. They may have uncontrolled jerking or shaking of muscles or irregular breathing. It lasts five minutes or less.
Do you know what to do if you suspect someone is having a seizure?
Not every seizure is an emergency, but if you’re unsure or don’t know the person’s seizure history, it’s safe to call 911.
Seizures vary for each individual, but call for help if you see the following:
A seizure lasts five minutes or longer.
One seizure happens right after another without the person regaining consciousness (“coming to”) between seizures.
Seizures happen closer together than usual for that person.
The person has trouble breathing.
The person appears to be choking.
The seizure happens in water, like a swimming pool or bathtub.
The person is injured during the seizure.
You believe this is the first seizure the person has had.
The person asks for medical help or the situation is becoming escalated.
What are the ways to help if you know what kind of seizure they are having?
With simple partial seizures, you may not notice someone is having one.
With complex partial seizures, stay calm, do not restrain the person but gently direct them away from hazards, like oncoming traffic or furniture. Track the time of the seizure and stay with the person until they have regained full awareness.
With generalized tonic clonic, protect a person’s head and turn them to one side in the rescue position to prevent choking. Do NOT put anything in the person’s mouth. Track the time of the seizure, check for a medical ID for more information and move objects out of the way. If it lasts more than five minutes, call emergency services. Remain with the person until they have gained full awareness. It usually takes a recovery period.
What are the impacts of seizures?
People with epilepsy can have trouble with depression, anger, anxiety and fear; relationships; financial costs; school and employment; driving and recreational activities. They may have cognitive problems or developmental delays.
How can you help even if you don’t witness a seizure?
Provide social and psychological support. Ask about the action plan if a seizure does occur. Be there for them as a friend to help relieve stress and anxiety.
Source: St. Cloud Times