People who suffer from epilepsy have seizures on a regular basis. While some people can have a seizure once, this doesn’t necessarily mean that that person already has this disorder. Rather, epilepsy will be diagnosed if patients have regular seizures, or if the doctors believe that it’s likely that they will have more. This condition can happen to anyone, and there are a range of levels. Some forms of this disorder will last for a short time, and the affected person may eventually stop having seizures. However, for many people, this is seen as chronic. Here, we’ll look at everything you need to know about epilepsy.
Epileptic Seizures: What Are They?
Electrical activity constantly takes place within our brains as the cells throughout the brain send messages to each other. Seizures occur when there’s a sudden burst of electrical activity within the brain. These can spread to other areas and when these happen to reach that part of the brain that controls the muscles, involuntary convulsions and twitches occur. Understanding seizures is the first step in learning everything you need to know about epilepsy.
There are different types of seizures, and what happens during a seizure will often depend on which part of the brain is affected. Sometimes, during a seizure, patients might remain completely alert and aware of what’s happening around them. At other times, patients may lose consciousness, and have unusual feelings, sensations, or movements.
What Are the Possible Causes?
Another question to answer when discovering everything you need to know about epilepsy, is what things might be responsible for this condition. Sometimes, doctors would be able to find a significant cause for a person’s epileptic experience, which might include an infection in the brain, a stroke, or a severe injury to the head. Problems during birth that resulted in a lack of oxygen for the baby can also lead to the condition. However, in more than half of people with this disorder, experts simply don’t know what the cause might be.
When diagnosing, doctors will take a detailed evaluation of the seizures that a person experiences during an attack. They may also arrange for additional tests that will help them to learn as much as possible about the causes and type of epilepsy. These tests might also help to rule out other conditions that cause seizures.
Treating the Condition
When learning everything you need to know about epilepsy, chances are that you’ll be keen to discover as much as you can about the treatments that can be used to manage this condition. The primary treatment is typically the use of medications, which are referred to as anti-epileptic drugs. These drugs don’t cure the underlying cause, but they can help to limit the number of seizures a person will have.
If medication doesn’t work, doctors might be able to suggest other forms of treatment, including brain surgery or stimulation of various nerves. There’s also a special diet that people can try which is sometimes suitable for children who have epileptic problems.