What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that occurs when there is an abnormality in brain activity, which causes recurrent epileptic seizures. A seizure episode can be hard to identify since these episodes may vary depending on their type.
A person experiencing a seizure might
- Project rapid blinking
- Been in a staring spell
- Experience change in senses
- Have muscle twitches or spasm
- Suddenly fall
- Lose of consciousness.
These are just a few of many signs that a person might be having a seizure. If you suspect someone having a seizure, seek medical help immediately.
Some cases of seizures can result in injuries such as scrapes, wounds, or even broken bone. A person suffering from seizures may lose consciousness and fall.
Anyone can experience seizures regardless of their gender, age, and race. However, the risks of having epilepsy are greater in younger children, older adults, and men.
Having one seizure episode does not mean a person has epilepsy. A person can be diagnosed with epilepsy if there has been a series of unprovoked seizures.
Unprovoked seizures are those that occur without identifiable cause. They can happen spontaneously and are expected to recur if treatment is not given.
Epilepsy can be diagnosed using tests that detect brain abnormalities like an electroencephalogram (EEG). Commonly, people call someone with epilepsy “epileptic.” However, the correct term when referring to them is “person with epilepsy.”
What Causes Epilepsy?
For some, the cause of epilepsy results from past brain trauma or injury. Unfortunately, for most cases of epilepsy, the cause is still unknown.
Here are some of the known factors that cause epilepsy:
- Prenatal injuries such as exposure to maternal infection. Poor nutrition, oxygen deficiency, and brain injury heighten a child’s risk of epilepsy.
- Head trauma or injury is a common cause in most diagnosed cases of epilepsy.
- Brain conditions such as brain tumors, stroke, congenital brain defect
- Brain infections like meningitis, malaria, encephalitis, and brain abscess
- Intellectual/developmental disabilities like autism, neurofibromatosis type 1, and cerebral palsy
The following are the common seizure triggers you need to be aware of: