Signs of an Epileptic Seizure

Epilepsy Information 2012

Signs of an Epileptic Seizure

Talk to any doctor regarding the importance of caring for epileptic children and they will most likely tell you that knowing the early signs of an epileptic seizure ranks as one of the most important skills any parent or guardian can develop. Seizures are particularly troublesome and worrying but early medical diagnosis can go a long way when it comes to curing it, or at the very least, managing it properly. In the succeeding post, we will look at the proven signs of an epileptic seizure to help parents and guardians be more proactive and vigilant in looking after the young ones. However, these signs will also appear in adults, so look at them closely.

Doctors have identified a distinct set of symptoms that help spot epilepsy in early stages. These refer to the fact that seizures are typically unpredictable, cyclic or episodic, brief, and recurring or stereotypic. To emphasize:

§ Seizures should be unpredictable in that there is no way to predict when one will happen next. If the symptoms are predictable, then they are most likely not caused by epileptic conditions.

§ Another one of the signs of an epileptic seizure is that it is cyclic or episodic. To say cyclic does not mean there is a pattern of predictability as already established in the first bullet; rather, it means that seizures related to epilepsy come and go and are bound to happen again unless the underlying cause is diagnosed and treated.

§ The briefness of epileptic seizures is another tell that helps distinguish it from other conditions. At most, epileptic seizures do not last beyond a few minutes. In many cases, they are exceedingly brief lasting only 10 or 15 seconds.

§ Stereotypic is another property of epileptic seizures. This means that the symptoms repeat themselves every time the patient has an episode.

There are obvious signs of an epileptic seizure. However, the pitfall of these symptoms is that the patient has to be able to vocally describe how they are feeling. For example, a general feeling of “oddness” or “listlessness” can be a sign of an impending attack. Likewise, dizziness and out-of-body sensations are also potential seizure signs but not always.

From a pure observational standpoint, common signs of an epileptic seizure may include twitches or jerking movements, recurring headaches, numbness in certain parts of the body, and even confusion or “loss of time.” All of these, when taken together with observed seizures, point to the likelihood that epilepsy is causing all the problems.

Whenever these signs are spotted, especially in children, it is best to immediately talk to a doctor for more definitive examinations and perhaps a timely diagnosis. In its early stages, epilepsy has a better chance of being fully treated than if it were to manifest at a later age.

The signs of an epileptic seizure are useful diagnostic tools to help doctors and parents care for children and epileptic patients in general. It opens the door for timely detection of illnesses that are otherwise left unattended and untreated. Use this to your advantage so you can give the best care to patients that require immediate medical attention.