This can be a scary word, but what does it mean? Epilepsy is a disease where a person has recurrent seizures. It is not something you can catch from people. If you have one seizure, it does not necessarily mean you have Epilepsy. People who have epilepsy are not weird or different, they can be just like you. In fact, you may know someone with epilepsy and be completely unaware they have it. 1% of all children will experience a seizure by their teen years.
What is a seizure?
Your brain works by sending out electrical signals. When something goes wrong with this signaling, your brain messaging system can have continuous electrical activity, causing a seizure. Some seizures can be caused by medication when taken improperly, severe illness, or genetic issues. There are a number of different types of seizures, all of which can look very different. Some seizures make people stare blankly into space. Some cause people to fall to the ground and their arms and legs to shake. Others will just cause one part of your body to shake. Seizures can be triggered by bright, rapidly flashing lights. TV, Video games, and computers are safe and do not cause seizures. We can diagnose seizures by a test called Electroencephologram, or EEG. This test uses stickers placed on the head to watch the electrical activity of the brain.
It is important to understand how to help someone if you see them having a seizure.
- Do not try to hold them to stop the shaking, as you may hurt yourself
- Look at the time so you can keep track of the duration of the seizure.
- If they are lying down, roll them to their side.
- Call for help (dial 911).
- Do not put anything in their mouth.
- Check to see if they have a medical bracelet or necklace.
How do you treat it?
There are many medications today to help manage epileptic seizures. They do not
cure the seizure disorder, but they can allow most kids who have them to live
a normal life.
Medical diagnoses can be scary, but when you know something about them you
can be more understanding of the people around you. I hope this made seizures
and epilepsy less frightening. If you have other questions about this or other issues,
don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. We are here to help explain things and
Dr. Brittani M.