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Epilepsy 101: Signs, Symptoms & Treatments

  • Category: Neurology
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  • Written By: St. John's Health
Epilepsy 101: Signs, Symptoms & Treatments

Understanding Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures that can range from mild to severe. It affects nearly 1 in 26 Americans alone, making it one of the most common neurological diseases in the world.

In some cases, epilepsy can lead to significant disability or death if left untreated. While there are many known causes for this condition, it is still largely misunderstood and stigmatized within society today. Understanding what epilepsy is and how it manifests itself will help those afflicted with this disease receive a proper diagnosis and effective treatment options.

Symptoms of Epilepsy

Abnormal brain activity caused by this disorder can induce seizures as well as other symptoms, including:

  • Jerking or twitching movements
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or altered awareness
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in vision or hearing
  • Stiff muscles
  • Increased sense of fear and anxiety

Symptoms of this disorder can vary greatly depending on the type of seizure experienced — and it is important to note that experiencing a single seizure does not necessarily signify an epilepsy diagnosis.

Diagnosing and Treating Epilepsy

In order to diagnose epilepsy accurately, doctors may order a neurological exam, as well as blood tests, EEGs, MRI scans, and CT scans. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment options will be discussed based on the type and severity of the epilepsy experienced.

Common treatments include medications and surgically implanted devices to control seizures, as well as lifestyle changes to reduce triggers.

It is also important to remember that while a diagnosis of epilepsy can be overwhelming at first, there are many treatments available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. With proper support and care, those affected by this condition can live a fulfilling life despite their diagnosis.

Take Action Today

With the right treatment plan in place, those affected by epilepsy can live healthy lives with minimal disruption from seizures. If you or a loved one is suffering from symptoms of epilepsy, it is important to consult with your provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Early detection and intervention can help improve quality of life and reduce the risk of further complications associated with this condition. Contact a Neurologist at St. John's Health to schedule an appointment.