Epilepsy is a central nervous system condition in which your brain activity becomes irregular resulting in awkward behavior, sensations, seizures, and even loss of awareness. Epilepsy can affect anyone, including males and females of all ethnic backgrounds, ages, and races. Most people with seizure symptoms can be treated with medication or surgery for severe cases. Some patients require lifelong treatment to manage seizures, but for others, the symptoms fade away. In this post, we will tell you why you should have your epilepsy checked out by Neurologist Nomad in New York City.
What Are the Symptoms of Epilepsy?
Since epilepsy is triggered by abnormal activity in the brain, a seizure can affect the normal functioning of your brain. Seizure symptoms also vary depending on the type of seizure, which may include; partial (focal) or generalized seizures. A patient with epilepsy tends to have the same type of seizure each time; thus, the symptoms are also similar from one episode to another. Moreover, seizures are the main symptom of epilepsy, as explained below:
- Focal (partial) seizures
A simple partial seizure, also known as a focal aware seizure, does not involve loss of consciousness. Its symptoms include:
- Alterations to normal sense of smell, touch, hearing, sight, or taste
- Twitching and tingling of limbs
- Generalized seizures
Generalized seizures usually affect the whole brain, involving the loss of consciousness. Its symptoms include:
- Tonic seizures. These cause sudden stiffness in your trunk, legs, or arms muscles.
- Myoclonic seizures. These cause spontaneous, quick twitching of the limbs.
- Clonic seizures. These are characterized by jerky muscle movements of the arms, face, and neck.
- Absence seizures. These cause a temporary loss of awareness and may cause repetitive movements like lip blinking or smacking.
- Tonic-clonic seizures: These cause loss of bowel control, stiffening of the body muscles, biting of the tongue, shaking, and loss of awareness.
- Atonic seizures. This causes a loss of muscle control.
What are The Causes of Seizures?
The following are some of the commonly reported triggers of seizures, they include:
- Menstrual hormonal changes
- Alcohol use, recreational drug use
- Physical overexertion
- Flashing patterns or lights
- Certain times of the night or day
- Fever, illness
- Not eating healthy or not drinking enough fluids
- Sleep disorders like sleep apnea
- Missed anti-seizure medications
- Use of certain medications such as diphenhydramine.
How is epilepsy diagnosed?
Before making a diagnosis, your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam to check your medical history and inquire about your symptoms during the seizure. Your doctor will then perform the following tests to diagnose epilepsy:
Ø Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This test checks for things such as infections, blood vessel irregularities, or tumors
Ø Electroencephalography (EEG). This test measures the electrical activity in your brain by checking for abnormal seizure-related electrical patterns.
How is Epilepsy Treated?
Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatments that can be used to control epilepsy symptoms. The most common method is using anti-seizure medications that help control seizures in about 70 percent of patients with epilepsy. Since anti-seizure medications are personalized, the choice of the medication usually depends on the following:
Ø The type of seizure
Ø Your age
Ø Pre-existing medical conditions
Ø Prior response to anti-seizure medications
Ø General health
Ø Potential risk for interaction with other medications
At Modern Migraine MD, we offer all our patients fast, reliable neurological services and other effective treatment solutions to help improve their overall well-being. Led by Risa Ravitz, MD, and the well-experienced medical team, we have helped the residents living in and around New York City with personalized neurological services to allow them to regain control of their normal lives. Get started today and book an appointment online or call our offices today.