Epilepsy is not a disease but a symptom of major underlying disorders.
It is characterized by seizures. These seizures can be caused by head injuries, high fever, drug substance abuse or even damage of the nerve cells. It can occur at any one and at any stage of life. It can only be transmitted through genetics and it can be caused by diseases or infections such as meningitis and mumps. Epilepsy thus, is observed as per the seizures that one experiences.
Types of seizures with the main being general and partial seizures.
In partial seizures, the first electric discharge from the brain is from one area. Under partial seizures, there is a simple, complex and general seizure. They differ in the mode of action that each takes. In general seizures, the electrical discharge starts in one area and then spreads to other parts of the body.
Generalized seizures have no single start point. They usually occur in older children but fade in adolescence. This type of epileptic seizure is referred to as juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. In young children, the seizures are known as rolandic epilepsy. When the seizures develop as a result of high fever, they are described as febrile seizures.
Still under the generalized group of seizures, there is a myoclonic seizure which is the jerking of various body parts. There is a clonic seizure where by the patient falls and experiences convulsions. Where the person falls but does not experience any convulsions, it is referred to as a tonic seizure.
There are persons who experience seizures as a result of sudden and swift changes of light variations. This is referred to as photosensitive seizures and is triggered by the light stimulation.
Some of the other causes of seizures are the activation of the brain cells due to factors such as metabolic functions and medical reactions. Metabolisms such as low oxygen, low blood calcium, lack of adequate sleep, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), low blood sodium, withdrawal from alcohol, kidney failure and drug overdose, also causes seizures. It is healthy to note that metabolism does not cause epilepsy, it only influences seizures.
In diagnosing epilepsy,
There are several diseases and conditions that can cause confusion.
When a person becomes unconscious maybe due to fainting, misdiagnosis can be done. Fainting is caused by sudden reduction of blood flow in the brain. It can be characterized by jerking of the feet and thus be misdiagnosed as epilepsy.
A person with hypoglycemia is also a victim. Low blood sugar causes light-headedness, hunger, sweating, nausea, amnesia and unconsciousness. All these are also symptoms of epilepsy.
When a person has a head injury, the effects can seem to suggest epilepsy. Head trauma causes amnesia and unconsciousness. It becomes difficult to show whether the victim had the injury before or after the fall.
There are those who experience confusion episodes such as altered speeches, absent-mindedness and unconsciousness. Then there are those with sleeping disorders such as Narcolepsy which is uncontrollable sleep that can make a person fall to the ground and sleep apnea, the interference of sleep at night resulting to sleep during daytime several times in the day. These two disorders can be misdiagnosed as epilepsy.
What to do in case of an epilepsy seizure.
Whenever one is experiencing a seizure, you should support calmness. Never try to stop or interfere with the process. You only should try to make them comfortable by turning them to the side. This helps them avoid swallowing anything and choking. If the seizure lasts for more than 10 minutes, it is recommended to consult a doctor. Some seizures can cause death.