How do I know if I had a seizure?

If you had your first seizure, you should see a doctor immediately.

If you think you had a seizure for the first time, what should you do? If you believe you had your first seizure, you should go to the emergency room.  Read on for more tips about seizures, what they mean, and what to do.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 3.4 million Americans have active epilepsy. Epilepsy, or seizure disorder, is diagnosed after a patient has two or more seizures with no other obvious cause (such as a head injury or high fever). While seizures can be triggered by head injuries, infections or reactions to alcohol or a drug, having a seizure does not necessarily mean you have epilepsy. It’s important to visit a doctor to be evaluated.

How do I know if I had a seizure?

Seizures don’t always look the way television and movies show them: a person violently shaking, etc. Although some seizures a person to collapse, have muscle spasms in many parts of the body, and lose consciousness, there are more subtle seizures as well. Sometimes, a person might blink rapidly or stare into space. Other seizures may become confused or dazed and don’t respond or answer questions for a few minutes.

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What causes seizures?

Epilepsy can be caused by other conditions that affect the brain such as stroke, brain tumors or head injuries. Many times, the cause is not known. You should always see a doctor as soon as possible after your first seizure.

How are seizures treated?

It depends on what kind of seizures you have, their frequency and whether the cause is known. There are some medicines a doctor might give you. You can also manage epilepsy by:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Lowering stress
  • Avoiding your known triggers

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