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Understanding Seizures & Seizure-Related Falls

What is a Seizure?

A seizure occurs when a sudden surge of electrical activity disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. This disruption can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Changes in vision or hearing
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
 

What Causes Seizures?

There are many possible causes of seizures, including:

  • Epilepsy: Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. It is the most common cause of seizures in children and adults.
  • Brain injury: Seizures can occur after a head injury, even if the injury is not severe.
  • Stroke: A stroke occurs when blood flow to part of the brain is interrupted. This can damage brain tissue and lead to seizures.
  • Brain infections: Seizures can be a complication of brain infections such as meningitis or encephalitis.
  • Substance abuse: Alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs can trigger seizures in people who are already at risk for seizures.
  • Genetic factors: Some people are more likely to develop seizures than others due to their genes.
 

Types of Seizures

There are two main types of seizures: focal seizures and generalized seizures.

  • Focal seizures: Focal seizures affect a specific part of the brain. They may cause localized symptoms such as muscle twitching, numbness, or tingling.
  • Generalized seizures: Generalized seizures affect the entire brain. They may cause a variety of symptoms, including loss of consciousness, jerking movements, and incontinence.
 

Non-Epileptic Seizures

In some cases, seizures can be caused by factors other than epilepsy. These are called non-epileptic seizures. Non-epileptic seizures can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Drug withdrawal
  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression

 

Seizures and Falling

One of the main concerns with seizures is the risk of falling. Falls can cause serious injuries, especially in older adults. There are a number of things that can be done to reduce the risk of falling during a seizure, including:

  • Monitoring seizure activity: Keeping a record of seizure activity can help you to identify patterns and triggers. This information can be used to develop a plan to reduce the risk of falling.
  • Making your home safer: Removing tripping hazards, adding padding to corners of furniture, and installing handrails can help to reduce the risk of injury during a fall.
  • Wearing a medical helmet: A medical helmet can protect the head from serious injury during a fall. We supply a wide range of head protection for adults & children that can protect you from various risks including falls and impacts to the head during a seizure. 

 

First Aid for Seizures

If someone is having a seizure, the most important thing is to stay calm. Do not try to restrain the person. You should also:

  • Remove any objects that could injure the person.
  • Turn the person on their side to prevent choking.
  • Call 999 if the seizure lasts for more than five minutes or the person is not breathing normally.
 

Prevention Strategies

There are a number of things that can be done to prevent seizures, including:

  • Taking medication as prescribed
  • Avoiding triggers
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Managing stress

 

Living with Seizures

Seizures can be a frightening and disruptive experience. However, there are many things that people with seizures can do to manage their condition and live a normal life. With proper treatment and prevention strategies, most people with seizures can control their seizures and live fulfilling lives.

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