A Video Guide to Understanding Epilepsy

Epilepsy News From: Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Courtesy of the Epilepsy Foundation Los Angeles, we are happy to share "Understanding Epilepsy". Featuring Deborah Holder, MD, a pediatric epilepsy specialist, this short video helps everyone to better understand seizures and epilepsy.

Why Learn About Epilepsy?

As Dr. Holder explains in the video, 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. It is extremely likely that you already know someone with epilepsy. It is important to learn about epilepsy because seizures can be unpredictable and can cause injuries. Steps can be taken to prevent injuries during seizures, and you can learn to recognize when someone is having a seizure. We encourage everyone to get seizure first aid certified to better help a loved one, coworker, friend, or stranger when a seizure strikes.

What Should I Know About Seizures?

It is important to know that seizures look different for everyone. Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. However, this abnormal activity doesn’t appear the same way in every person. This is why it can be harder to identify certain seizures compared to others.

During the video, Dr. Holder provides explanations on some of the more common types of seizures such as tonic-clonic seizures, focal aware seizures, and absence seizures.

“Five seconds before to thirty seconds before, I kind of get this anxiety build up,” mentions a person in the video describing their experience before a seizure. “And when the seizures coming, I get some pulsation in my head.”

While seizures can be very scary, Dr. Holder assures us that most people with epilepsy can live a very normal and happy life even after they’ve been given the diagnosis.

Visiting a Doctor and Finding Support

Dr. Holder emphasizes the importance of visiting a doctor if you or anyone you know is having what she describes as a “funny spell.” Tell the doctor any relevant health information, mention seizures specifically, and describe your symptoms as best as you can. From there, you may be referred to an epileptologist, a neurologist who specializes in the treatment and diagnosis of epilepsy.

The most important thing to know about being diagnosed with epilepsy is that you are not alone. Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological condition in the world. If you or a loved one need help during your epilepsy journey, we encourage you to contact the Epilepsy Foundation’s 24/7 Helpline. We have trained information specialists standing by to answer your questions about epilepsy and seizures and provide you with help, hope, support, guidance, and access to national and local resources.

Authored by

Kaitlyn Gallagher

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