What are Seizures?

A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. It can cause changes in your behavior, movements or feelings, and in levels of consciousness. If you have two or more seizures or a tendency to have recurrent seizures, you have epilepsy.

There are many types of seizures, which range in severity. Seizure types vary by where and how they begin in the brain. Most seizures last from 30 seconds to two minutes. A seizure that lasts longer than five minutes is a medical emergency.

Seizures are more common than you might think. Seizures can happen after a stroke, a closed head injury, an infection such as meningitis or another illness. Many times, though, the cause of a seizure is unknown.

Most seizure disorders can be controlled with medication, but management of seizures can still have a significant impact on your daily life. The good news is you can work with your health care professional to balance seizure control and medication side effects.

What causes Seizures?

Nerve cells (neurons) in the brain create, send and receive electrical impulses, which allow the brain’s nerve cells to communicate. Anything that disrupts these communication pathways can lead to a seizure.

The most common cause of seizures is epilepsy. But not every person who has a seizure has epilepsy.

How are seizures treated?

Your neurologist begins with a comprehensive exam, including an electroencephalogram (EEG), to confirm that seizures are the root cause of your symptoms. He uses blood tests to check for other issues that can cause similar symptoms. If your neurologist diagnoses you with a seizure disorder, he creates a treatment plan to reduce your risk of having more seizures in the future. He might prescribe medication or nerve stimulation. He might also recommend dietary or lifestyle changes.

Call WeCare Neurology, or make an appointment online today, if you’re concerned about seizures.

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