Seizure can be understood as a symptom of epilepsy as the latter is characterized by recurring seizures. The exact cause of epilepsy (seizure disorder) is not known as yet.
Still, it is often associated with head trauma, infection of brain tissue, prenatal disturbance of brain development, brain tumor, stroke, lead poisoning, and a genetic predisposition.
Moreover, individuals suffering from cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease are more at risk of developing this neurological disorder.
Coming to seizure, it is a brain dysfunction occurring due to temporary disruption in the normal electrical activity of the brain.
Therefore, it affects the way you feel or act. In other words, it causes changes in body movement, awareness, sensation or behavior. A seizure usually lasts for a short time. However, it can vary from one person to another.
Epileptic seizures are often referred to as fits. Seizures can also occur in individuals who do not have epilepsy.
Thus, a person who has had a seizure may or may not have epilepsy but a person with epilepsy is sure to have experienced two or more episodes of unprovoked seizure.
How to Identify a Seizure
Some common signs and symptoms of seizures are:
- • Uncontrollable jerking of any part of the body such as arms or legs
- • Twitching movements
- • Stiffening of the muscles
- • Confusion
- • Staring spell
- • Tongue biting
- • Flushed skin
- • Vision loss or blurring
- • Breathing difficulty
- • Personality changes
- • Incontinence
- • Sudden collapse
- • Loss of consciousness
People may also experience certain warning signs before seizures such as feeling of intense fear, joy, or anxiety, dÃ©jÃ vu, jamais vu, perception of an odd sound, smell, or taste, nausea, visual loss, headache, numbness, lightheadedness, and so on.
Seizures, however, should not be confused with occasional behavioral outburst, daydreaming, migraines, and fainting. Thus, it is essential to keep a track of your signs and symptoms to help diagnose the condition accurately.
Plus, record information like the activity you were engaged in before the seizure began, could you talk or respond during the seizure, how long did it last, when did it happen (the time), were there any warning signs, etc.
Types of Seizures
Seizures can be classified as autonomic, motor, sensory, emotional or cognitive. They can either be focal or generalized.
Focal seizures can further be divided as:
• Simple focal seizures (may be accompanied by symptoms like vertigo, nausea, tingling, flashing lights, and other spontaneous sensory symptoms)
• Complex focal seizures (blank stare, walking in circles, chewing, lip smacking, screaming, hand rubbing, etc. due to loss of awareness).
Generalized seizures can be divided into seven types:
• Tonic seizures– causes stiffening of muscles
• Atonic seizures– characterized by sudden loss of muscle tone
• Clonic seizures– rhythmic jerking contractions
• Myoclonic seizures– sporadic, quick movements
• Tonic-clonic (formerly called Grand Mal) seizures– it is the most intense seizure; may be characterized by rise in blood pressure and heart rate, tremor, saliva or foam dripping from the mouth, etc.
• Absence (formerly called petit mal) seizures– altered state of consciousness
Here’s a video explaining what happens during a seizure.
Factors like missing a dose of medication, low blood sugar, extreme fatigue, photosensitivity, dehydration, stress, high fever/infection (especially in infant and kids), hormonal changes, and intoxication with a drug, withdrawal from a drug are some of the most common reasons that can trigger a seizure.
Besides, brain injury, neurological problems, congenital conditions, and birth trauma may lead to a seizure.
Treatment of seizure disorder or epilepsy usually involves the use of medications, surgery, vagus nerve stimulation, adoption of ketogenic diet and making changes in your lifestyle.
Moreover, you can consider going for aromatherapy, cognitive therapy, and behavioral therapy to manage this condition.
When dealing with this neurological problem, it is suggested to avoid essential oils of sage, fennel, rosemary, eucalyptus, hyssop, wormwood, etc. Nevertheless, you can herbal infusions prepared from chamomile, valerian, passionflower, and kava.