Epilepsy is defined as recurrent, jumbled or erratic electrical firing in the brain cells that disrupts with the normal functioning of the brain. The disruption can lead to recurrent seizures which is the main sign of epilepsy. Even though these seizures are triggered by erratic electrical activity in the brain, it can manifest in a different way for every individual.
Connection of epilepsy and seizures
If an individual has seizures, it is vital to consult a doctor about the specific symptoms. Determining the type of seizure can help the doctor choose the suitable treatment.
What are the symptoms of epilepsy?
There are various symptoms of epilepsy and these can occur either before, during or after a seizure. The symptoms that might manifest are based on the type of seizure present.
The usual symptoms of seizures among individuals with epilepsy include the following:
- Jerking or contraction of the muscles – depending on the type of seizure, every muscle in the body contracts. In some cases, involuntary muscle contractions can also arise in isolated parts of the body
- Loss of consciousness – some seizures might lead to loss of consciousness that can last for a few seconds to hours.
- Weakness – this can occur in any type of seizure and in any part of the body.
- Anxiety – this is generally experienced before a seizure and might indicate that one is about to occur.
- Staring – the individual might stare out into space especially those who have absence seizures. Oftentimes, the individual appears to be briefly in a daydreaming state or simply lost in thought. The staring typically lasts for a few seconds along with blinking or repeated movements
- Repetitive or purposeless motions – repeated motions without any purpose might include repeated shifting, tapping of fingers or chewing