Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that results in episodes called seizures. One of the most common forms is childhood epilepsy that a child will typically grow out of. Other times, an individual will suffer from seizures and epilepsy for life or develop adult seizures at a later age.
Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological disorder throughout the world. There are many forms of seizures and having them recurrently is grouped into a term called “epilepsy”.
What causes seizures and epilepsy?
Seizures and epilepsy can have a plethora of causes. Developmental disorders such as autism can account for some cases of epilepsy. While accidents such as a stroke or a head trauma are also responsible for seizures.
Brain conditions including stroke also account for a number of cases of seizures. Bacterial and viral infectious diseases, commonly meningitis or AIDS, are also associated as causes of seizures and the development of epilepsy.
The seizures in the case of epilepsy are caused by sporadic episodes of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This results in unusual behavior, involuntary movement or lack of consciousness during a seizure.
Other non-epileptic seizures may not be caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain and instead are influenced by muscular problems or psychological factors.
Signs of a seizure
There are a number of types of seizures, meaning spotting one can be obvious but at other times may be tricky. Different types of seizures involve different symptoms. The symptom lists below will help you to become better informed in spotting seizures and epilepsy.
Tonic-Clonic Seizure (also known as “grand mal”)
- Seizing of muscles
- Uncontrollable shaking or shivering
- Involuntary movements
- Loss of consciousness
- Seizing of face or neck muscles
- Muscle Spasms
- Less than 20 seconds
- Loss of balance
- Sudden stiffness
- Loss of muscular control, head and neck go limp
- Falling over
- Less than 20 to 15 seconds
Other types of seizures are less severe, such as absence seizures. Symptoms involve blank stares, eyes rolling back into the head and no memory of it occurring. Myoclonic seizures cause the muscles to suddenly jerk or spasm like a shock.
Caring for people with epilepsy and seizures
Many medications to manage seizures exist and after assessment by a specialist, these may be prescribed to manage conditions. The regular occurrence of certain types of seizures may require care in the form of protective headwear. For example, those suffering from atonic seizures may need to wear a helmet to prevent hurting themselves when falling during a seizure.
Caring for people with epilepsy and seizures does not only involve taking care during a seizure episode or reminding them to take their medications. Caring for individuals after seizures and in general life is essential to working to reduce obstacles that those troubled by seizures and epilepsy may face in daily life.
We at Haym Salomon Home for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Brooklyn aim to provide complete care, both physical and mental to our epileptic residents and those who live with seizures as part of their lives. Our kind and friendly nurses are always on hand to provide support.
It is essential to realize that while seizures are a key part of suffering from epilepsy, they are not the only struggle an individual will deal with. The worry of seizure triggers or feeling out of control can be something that epileptic people need support with.
It is clear that emotional support is a big part of seizure and epilepsy care. Helping to remove, reduce or avoid specific seizure triggers such as stress or fatigue to manage seizures and epilepsy is crucial.