What to Do When You Get Epilepsy Attack!

By Dr. Vinny Sood in Neurosciences

Aug 21 , 2017 | 4 min read

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that causes unprovoked and recurrent seizures. A seizure is a sudden rush of electrical activity to the brain which causes an episode of vigorous shaking from brief to an extended period. The recurrent and unprovoked seizures happen due to the alterations in structure or brain functions.

The overload of electrical activity in the brain causes a temporary disturbance in the messaging systems between the brain cells. There are diverse types of seizures, and every patient will have epilepsy in their own way. Since the nervous system triggers every function in our bodies, when a patient experiences a seizure it depends on which part of their brain is activated by epileptic activity, and how it proceeds from that area. It is important to control occurrences of seizures to minimize chances of any grave injury.

Epilepsy treatment is possible and is classified under the neurosciences branch. Max Institute of Neurosciences provides comprehensive and compassionate care to people suffering from seizures. With our neurologist in Delhi, you will get the best epilepsy treatment which will ease your daily life by miles. Let’s take a closer look at epilepsy; its symptoms and what to do if there is an instance of a seizure –

The primary symptoms of epilepsy are repeated seizures, however, if they are accompanied the following symptoms, a patient should see a doctor –

  • Short spells of blackout or confused memory
  • The person is unable to respond to instructions or questions for a brief period
  • The person suddenly falls for no apparent reason
  • A convulsion with no rise in temperature
  • Sudden instances of chewing, without any apparent reason
  • Repetitive movements that are inappropriate
  • Panic for no reason
  • Peculiar changes in senses

Types of Epileptic Seizures

Idiopathic Without any apparent cause
Cryptogenic Where a doctor thinks there is probable cause, but cannot pinpoint it

When the doctor knows the cause

Based on the diagnosis the seizures are further classified into two types –

Focal or Partial Seizure

In the case of a focal seizure, the epileptic activity took place in just one part of the patient’s brain. The partial seizure is further classified into two types –

Simple Partial Seizure – In this case, the patient is aware of their surroundings and is conscious during the seizure.
Complex Partial Seizure – The patient’s consciousness is impaired, and they will not remember the seizure. They also have a vague memory of the episode.

Generalized Seizure

A generalized seizure is characterized when the epileptic activity occurs in both halves of the brain. A patient will lose consciousness when the seizure is in progress.

Tonic-clonic Seizures – Loss of consciousness accompanied by body stiffness and shaking.
Absence Seizures – Short lapses in consciousness where the patient appears to be staring into space.
Tonic Seizures – Muscles will become stiff, and the patient may experience a fall.
Atonic Seizures – Loss of muscle control which leads to a fall.
Clonic Seizures – Where a patient experiences rhythmic and jerky movement.

What to do in case of an Epilepsy Attack?

With effective epilepsy treatment, one can minimize the instances of seizures and epilepsy attacks. Consult a neurologist and let the expert diagnose you effectively. However, in the case of an emergency here’s what you need to do if someone around you is experiencing seizures.

This first aid is for all seizure types –

Always Stay with the patient until the seizure is subsided

Seizures are unpredictable, and it can be difficult to tell how long they will last or what will occur during an episode. There could be an injury during a seizure, so, it is imperative to stay near the patient.

Note the length of the seizure

Record the duration of the seizure, and how long it took the patient to recover from the same. This record will help the medical practitioner in determining a more effective treatment.

Stay Calm

Keep calm and assure the patient is suffering from a seizure that they will recover from the same. Staying calm will also determine how the next person will react to the situation.

Clean the space around the patient

Removing sharp objects, especially ones that could hurt the patient. Since seizures are sudden and most patients do not remember the instances, it is necessary to minimize dangerous situations around the patient.

Make the patient comfortable

Help them sit down in a safe and secure place. Support the person’s head to prevent it from hitting the floor.

Do not Give Water, Pills, or Food by Mouth

An individual who has epilepsy might not be fully conscious during a seizure. They might not swallow correctly, and it can go into their lungs instead of the stomach.

Call for Medical Help If

  • A seizure which lasts up to 5 minutes or longer
  • There are cases of consecutive seizures where a person does not gain consciousness between seizures.
  • Seizures occurring in water
  • Injury
  • The person asks for medical help

Remember, be supportive and stay calm. Seizures can be treated effectively with medications and following practices that are advised by the doctor. In the case of situations where a person does not regain consciousness, make sure you call for medical help immediately. With an effective epilepsy treatment, a person can live a healthy and managed life. With your neurologist’s advice and medications, there are steps to control the symptoms of epilepsy.