What exactly is epilepsy and how does one suffer from this disease? Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that can generate high impact seizures in a person. Seizure here is a sudden electric brain activity where impulses sent to the brain are co recurrent that the person cannot act according to the commands of the brain.
Epilepsy is such a risky and contagious disease that it can be transferred genetically down the generations. There is a general stigma about this disease as a spiritual one running from generations to generations in the country of Africa. However, due to the lack of knowledge and proper medical treatments available, it often becomes fatal.
How does Epilepsy Develop?
There may be several ways in which the disease can develop in people:
Epilepsy is a non infectious neurological disease. Due to head injuries, head trauma, brain tumors and strokes usually create the risk of such seizure disorders like epilepsy in the affected people. Some of the metabolic and chromosomal disorders passed down into families can also cause such brain problems.
Seizures may also occur in people who are severely dehydrated or have overheating body temperatures that may be life threatening. They usually develop during teen years and stay till very old age. Sometimes they may appear in teens but usually disappear during the later stages of life.
Epilepsy disease may also occur in a fetus where there is a problem in the development of brain during pregnancy in women.
Lack of oxygen to the brain in infants.
Meningitis, encephalitis and other brain affecting diseases.
Bright lights or flash lights
An epileptic seizure may look very different in all patients at any time. Some may have seizures all over the body making it difficult to move or do anything with overall body convulsions. In others, it may just be a blank stare in the air for some time and that is it. Epileptic seizures generally fall into two main categories:
Partial seizures occur when a person’s limbs, fingers, or parts of limbs start to tremble with or without losing consciousness. The twitching may last from a few minutes to a longer period of time depending upon the severity of seizures. Sometimes only some facial muscles may twitch. In lesser risky conditions, one may only feel tingling sensation in a body part. This all depends upon the part of the brain that is affected.
Generalized seizures are chronic than the partial seizures. In this kind of disease, electric activity happens all over the brain, making it difficult for the patient to respond or do anything at the time of seizure occurrence.
These fall into different categories like:
Absence seizures or ab-SAHNTZ occur mostly in females and very less in boys. The symptoms may only be a daydreaming episode of 15 seconds and the patient will return to his normal behavior.
In this state, eyes roll, hands fall to sides and outward, and the patient may lose control over their bladder or bowel. The patient will also start jerking in this condition. Although seizures may be painless, they still make the patient unresponsive. The muscles may become stiff or totally out of control making the condition worse (tonic and atonic seizures)
In this condition the person may feel shock like jerks for just a couple of seconds but have full control over the body and can think clearly.
Seizures may last only for some time, but after the seizure is over, a person may feel confused or sleepy or both.
Seizures although cannot be prevented but precautionary measures can be taken to improve the risk factors and lower the effect of seizures. Some of the following can help:
Get proper sleep. Make a sleeping schedule and stick to it.
Avoid drugs and alcoholic addictions.
Avoid stressful situations and try to relax more.
Take proper medication and on time.
People are usually not properly aware Epilepsy. It is better to keep a check on the health issues and make sure that you are properly aware by reading online as well as discussing with your doctor and with a neurologist for epileptic seizures.