10 Key Signs Of Epilepsy That You Shouldn’t Ignore

By Aaron Love 4 months ago

1. You're Having Seizures

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Experiencing seizures is one of the most prominent signs of epilepsy. Seizures can manifest in various forms, from convulsions and muscle jerks to staring spells and altered consciousness. If you or someone you know is experiencing recurrent seizures, it's essential to seek medical evaluation to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

2. Falling Unconscious

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Episodes of unconsciousness or loss of awareness are common during seizures, particularly in generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Sudden falls without warning can indicate atonic seizures, where there's a temporary loss of muscle tone. If you find yourself frequently losing consciousness without apparent cause, it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional for assessment and diagnosis.

3. Having Muscle Contractions

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Muscle contractions or jerking movements are hallmark symptoms of seizures, particularly in tonic-clonic seizures. These involuntary muscle contractions can affect various parts of the body and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as loss of consciousness or altered sensations.

4. Staring Aimlessly

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Staring spells or periods of unresponsiveness can occur during absence seizures, which are common in certain types of epilepsy, particularly in children. During an absence seizure, the individual may appear to be staring blankly into space, unaware of their surroundings.

5. Having Shaky Hands

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Tremors or shaking hands can be a sign of seizures, particularly in focal seizures that originate from specific areas of the brain. These tremors may affect one hand or both hands and can occur before, during, or after a seizure. If you notice persistent tremors or shaking in your hands, it's important to discuss this symptom with your doctor to determine the underlying cause.

6. Having Strange Smells

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Sensations of strange smells or odors, known as olfactory hallucinations, can sometimes occur before or during seizures. These unusual smells may be pleasant, unpleasant, or unfamiliar and can vary in intensity. If you experience unexplained smells or sensations, especially in association with other seizure symptoms, it's essential to seek medical evaluation.

7. Or An Odd Taste In Your Mouth

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Similarly, experiencing unusual tastes or sensations in the mouth, known as gustatory hallucinations, can be a sign of epilepsy. These strange tastes may occur before, during, or after seizures and can range from metallic or bitter tastes to other unfamiliar sensations. Have you noticed this at all?

8. Constantly Rubbing Your Hands

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Repetitive behaviors such as constantly rubbing your hands or fidgeting may occur as automatisms during seizures, particularly in focal seizures with impaired awareness. These repetitive actions are often purposeless and may occur without the individual's awareness. It can be irritating for yourself and others!

9. Or Smacking Your Lips

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Lip smacking or chewing motions can also occur as automatisms during seizures, particularly in focal seizures originating from areas of the brain involved in motor control. These repetitive actions may be accompanied by other seizure symptoms such as altered consciousness or staring spells.

10. Loss Of Muscle

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Sudden loss of muscle tone, leading to falls or collapse, can occur in atonic seizures, also known as drop attacks. During an atonic seizure, there's a brief period of complete muscle weakness or paralysis, causing the individual to fall to the ground. If you experience episodes of sudden muscle weakness or collapse without warning it could be a sign!

11. Having Intense Feelings of Fear

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Intense feelings of fear or panic can occur before, during, or after seizures, particularly in individuals with certain types of epilepsy. These intense emotions may be disproportionate to the situation and can contribute to heightened anxiety and distress. They can really set you on a downward spiral too!

12. Or Even Anxiety

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Anxiety disorders are commonly associated with epilepsy, and individuals with epilepsy may experience heightened levels of anxiety due to the uncertainty and unpredictability of seizures. Chronic anxiety can exacerbate seizure frequency and intensity, creating a cycle of increased stress and seizure activity.

13. Lapses In Memory

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Memory lapses or gaps in recollection can occur during or after seizures, particularly in focal seizures that affect areas of the brain involved in memory formation and retrieval. These memory lapses may involve forgetting recent events, experiencing confusion about past occurrences, or having difficulty retaining new information.

14. Feeling Confused

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Confusion or disorientation is a common symptom of seizures, especially after the seizure activity has subsided during the postictal period. Individuals may feel confused, dazed, or have difficulty understanding their surroundings or situation. This confusion can persist for minutes to hours following a seizure and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as headache or fatigue.

15. Unexplained Mood Swings

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Sudden and unexplained changes in mood or behavior can occur before, during, or after seizures, particularly in individuals with epilepsy. These mood swings may involve rapid shifts from euphoria to irritability or agitation without apparent trigger. Mood disturbances can significantly impact daily functioning and quality of life!

16. Lack Of Bowel Control

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Loss of bowel control, or fecal incontinence, can occur during seizures, particularly in generalized tonic-clonic seizures or atonic seizures. The loss of bowel control may result from the involuntary contraction of muscles in the abdomen and pelvic floor during the seizure activity. If you experience recurrent episodes of fecal incontinence or loss of bowel control.

17. Scratching Yourself

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Repetitive or compulsive behaviors such as scratching oneself may occur during or after seizures, particularly in individuals with focal seizures with impaired awareness. These behaviors, known as automatisms, are often purposeless and may be performed without the individual's awareness or control.

18. Feeling Extremely Tired

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Fatigue or extreme tiredness is a common symptom experienced by individuals with epilepsy, particularly after seizures or during the postictal period. Seizures can be physically and mentally exhausting, leading to feelings of profound fatigue and lethargy. This can end up really damaging your day.

19. Getting Intense Headaches

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Intense headaches, known as postictal headaches, can occur after seizures, particularly in individuals with generalized tonic-clonic seizures. These headaches may be throbbing, pulsating, or feel like pressure in the head and can last for hours to days following a seizure.

20. Throwing Up!

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Nausea and vomiting can occur before, during, or after seizures, particularly in individuals with certain types of epilepsy or as a side effect of antiepileptic medications. Seizure-related vomiting may result from autonomic changes during seizures or from the physical exertion and stress associated with the seizure activity.

21. Slurring Your Speech

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Speech difficulties, including slurred speech or difficulty articulating words, can occur during or after seizures, particularly in focal seizures that affect areas of the brain involved in language function. Slurred speech may be accompanied by other seizure symptoms such as confusion or impaired consciousness.

22. Changes In Your Vision

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Epileptic seizures can affect vision, leading to changes such as blurriness, visual distortions, or difficulty focusing. These changes in vision may occur before, during, or after seizures and can vary in severity and duration. If you notice persistent or concerning changes in your vision you should get it checked!

23. Maybe Even Temporary Blindness

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Temporary blindness or visual disturbances, known as amaurosis fugax, can occur during certain types of seizures, particularly in focal seizures originating from the occipital lobes of the brain. This temporary loss of vision may be unilateral or bilateral and typically resolves spontaneously after the seizure activity subsides.

24. Wanting To Stay In The Dark

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Sensitivity to light, known as photophobia, is a common symptom experienced by individuals with epilepsy, particularly during or after seizures. Bright lights or flashing lights can trigger or exacerbate seizures in some individuals, leading them to prefer dim or dark environments.

25. Blocking Out Noise

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Sensitivity to noise, known as phonophobia, is another common symptom experienced by individuals with epilepsy, particularly during or after seizures. Loud noises or sudden bursts of sound can trigger or exacerbate seizures in some individuals, leading them to seek quiet environments or block out noise.

26. Feelings Of Depression

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Depression is a common comorbidity in individuals with epilepsy, affecting both mood and quality of life. The stress of living with epilepsy, as well as biological factors related to seizure activity and medication side effects, can contribute to feelings of depression. If you experience persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or loss of interest in activities, it's important to seek support from a mental health professional.

27. You're On Your Period

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Hormonal changes, particularly fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels, can influence seizure activity in some individuals with epilepsy. Some women may notice changes in seizure frequency or intensity during specific phases of their menstrual cycle, such as during menstruation or ovulation.

28. Insomnia

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Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or difficulty falling asleep, are common in individuals with epilepsy and can contribute to seizure risk and overall health. Seizures, medication side effects, and psychological factors such as anxiety or depression can all contribute to sleep difficulties.

29. Having An Abnormal Posture

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Abnormal postures or body positions, known as dystonia, can occur during or after seizures, particularly in focal seizures that affect areas of the brain involved in motor control. These abnormal postures may involve twisting or contorting the body into unusual positions and can be accompanied by other seizure symptoms such as muscle contractions or impaired consciousness.

30. Sudden Outbursts Of Crying

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Sudden outbursts of crying or emotional lability can occur before, during, or after seizures, particularly in individuals with certain types of epilepsy or in association with mood disorders such as depression. These emotional outbursts may be disproportionate to the situation and can be distressing for the individual and those around them.

Now Here Are 20 Things You Can Do To Protect Yourself... 31. Control Diabetes (If You Have It)

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If you have diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels is crucial for overall health and reducing the risk of complications, including epilepsy. Follow your healthcare provider's recommendations for monitoring blood sugar levels, taking medications as prescribed, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise and a balanced diet.

32. Get Regular Exercise

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Engaging in regular physical activity not only promotes overall health but also helps reduce the risk of epilepsy and seizures. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week, such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or aerobic workouts. Be careful though!

33. Eat A Balanced Diet

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Consuming a nutritious and balanced diet is essential for maintaining optimal brain health and reducing the risk of seizures. Focus on incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your meals. Limit intake of processed foods, sugary snacks, and excessive caffeine, as these can potentially trigger seizures in some individuals.

34. Stay Hydrated

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Adequate hydration is essential for overall health and can help reduce the risk of seizures, particularly in individuals prone to dehydration-related triggers. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during hot weather or periods of increased physical activity. Be mindful of your fluid intake and aim to maintain a consistent level of hydration.

35. Get Plenty Of Sleep

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Quality sleep is essential for brain health and reducing the risk of seizures. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night and establish a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, avoid stimulants like caffeine before bed, and create a comfortable sleep environment conducive to restful sleep.

36. Limit Alcohol Consumption

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Excessive alcohol consumption can lower seizure threshold and increase the risk of seizures, particularly in individuals with epilepsy. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation and be mindful of your limits. Avoid binge drinking or excessive alcohol intake, and never drink and drive.

37. Manage Your Stress Levels

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Chronic stress can contribute to seizure risk and exacerbate epilepsy symptoms. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or mindfulness to help manage stress levels. Engage in activities that promote relaxation and well-being, such as spending time in nature, listening to music, or practicing hobbies you enjoy.

38. Take Your Prescribed Medication

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If you have epilepsy or another medical condition requiring medication, it's crucial to take your prescribed medications as directed by your healthcare provider. Follow the recommended dosage and schedule, and never skip doses or discontinue medications without consulting your doctor. Consistent medication adherence is essential for controlling seizures and preventing complications.

39. Wear A Helmet When Necessary

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Protecting your head from injury is important for preventing epilepsy caused by head trauma. Wear a helmet when engaging in activities with a risk of head injury, such as biking, skating, skiing, or participating in contact sports. Choose a helmet that fits properly and meets safety standards to provide optimal protection.

40. Wear Your Seatbelt When Driving

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Wearing a seatbelt is one of the most effective ways to prevent head injuries and reduce the risk of epilepsy resulting from car accidents. Always wear your seatbelt when driving or riding in a vehicle, and ensure that all passengers buckle up as well. Seatbelts save lives and can help prevent serious injuries that may lead to epilepsy or other neurological conditions.

41. Avoid Flashing Lights

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If you are sensitive to flashing or flickering lights, such as those from strobe lights or certain video games, take precautions to avoid exposure. Flashing lights can trigger seizures in susceptible individuals, particularly those with photosensitive epilepsy. Be mindful of environments with intense or rapid light changes and consider using seizure-prevention devices or filters if necessary.

42. Limit Caffeine

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While moderate caffeine consumption is generally safe for most people, excessive caffeine intake can lower seizure threshold in some individuals, particularly those with epilepsy. Limit your caffeine intake from coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other sources to reduce the risk of seizures. Be aware of hidden sources of caffeine in certain medications, supplements, and foods, and opt for decaffeinated alternatives when possible.

43. Keep Out Of The Cold

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Extreme cold temperatures can trigger seizures in some individuals, particularly those with epilepsy. If you're sensitive to cold weather, take precautions to stay warm during colder months, such as dressing in layers, wearing hats and gloves, and minimizing outdoor exposure during extreme weather conditions.

44. Practice Good Dental Hygeie

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Poor dental health has been linked to an increased risk of epilepsy and seizures. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing regularly, and scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Address any dental issues promptly to maintain optimal oral health and reduce the risk of complications.

45. Avoid High Adrenaline Sports

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Certain high-adrenaline sports and activities, such as skydiving, bungee jumping, or extreme racing, carry a higher risk of head injuries that could lead to epilepsy. If you have epilepsy or are at risk for seizures, consider avoiding high-risk activities that increase the likelihood of head trauma. Choose lower-impact exercises and sports that prioritize safety to minimize the risk of injury.

46. Limit Your Screen Time

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Prolonged exposure to screens, such as those from smartphones, computers, tablets, and televisions, can disrupt sleep patterns and increase seizure risk in some individuals, particularly before bedtime. Limit your screen time, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime, to promote better sleep quality and reduce the risk of seizures. Consider implementing screen-free activities or using blue light filters to minimize exposure to stimulating light wavelengths.

47. Manage Your Allergies

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Allergic reactions, especially severe ones like anaphylaxis, can trigger seizures in some individuals. If you have allergies, work with your healthcare provider to manage them effectively and minimize the risk of allergic triggers. Carry necessary medications such as epinephrine auto-injectors and take precautions to avoid known allergens whenever possible.

48. Make Your Home Fire Safe

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Fire hazards pose a significant risk to individuals with epilepsy, as seizures may occur unexpectedly and impair the ability to respond to emergencies. Take steps to make your home fire-safe by installing smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire extinguishers. Create and practice a fire escape plan with your family or household members to ensure everyone knows what to do in case of a fire emergency.

49. Visit Your Doctor Regularly

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Regular medical check-ups are essential for monitoring your overall health and managing any underlying conditions that may contribute to epilepsy or seizures. Schedule regular appointments with your primary care provider or neurologist to review your epilepsy management plan, adjust medications as needed, and address any concerns or changes in symptoms.

50. Keep A Seizure Diary

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Keeping a seizure diary can help you track seizure frequency, triggers, and other relevant information to better understand your condition and manage your epilepsy effectively. Record details such as the date, time, duration, and characteristics of each seizure, as well as any potential triggers or factors that may have contributed to the seizure.

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