Epilepsy is a disorder that is known to cause continuous episodes of seizures. Seizures are referred to as sudden, unprovoked events caused due to a change in the electrical impulse. Human brain is known to produce several electrical impulses that travel through the neurons that help in functioning of the body.
When a person suffers from epilepsy, these electrical impulses undergo a sudden unaligned rhythm. And then these disrupted electrical impulses have sudden bursts leading to issues with movements and consciousness.
Generally a person is diagnosed with epilepsy only after two episodes of unprovoked seizures. Usually not all seizures are not epilepsy as when a person withdraws from alcohol may experience seizures.
What are the different types of seizures?
Absence seizures: This type of seizure is generally seen in children and the most common signs include blinking the eye continuously and even lip smacking for about 20 mins. This can happen about 100 times a day.
Atonic seizures: This can lead to loss of muscle strength, and this is referred to as drop seizures.
Tonic seizures: This type of seizure can cause muscle stiffness and may also cause you to fall.
Clonic seizures: These seizures are usually seen in muscles of the neck, arms, and face. They can cause continuous jerk movements.
Tonic-clonic seizures: This is the most serious type of epilepsy as it leads to loss of consciousness and severe jerks.
What is meant by tonic-clonic seizures?
A tonic-clonic seizure, often known as a grand mal seizure, is a kind of seizure that causes a person to lose consciousness and experience strong muscle contractions.
Tonic-clonic seizures may start out as focal seizures in a tiny region of the brain and then spread to affect the whole brain.
Most of the time, epilepsy is the reason for a tonic-clonic seizure. But sometimes this kind of seizure can be caused by something else wrong with the body. A tonic-clonic seizure can be caused by a highly decreased blood sugar level, a high fever, or a stroke.
What are the symptoms of tonic-clonic seizures?
As the tonic-clonic seizures are segregated to two types, the symptoms include:
Unconsciousness may follow and the muscles contract leading to the person to fall down. This may last approximately 20 seconds.
This leads to involuntary flexing of the muscles that can last for about 20 minutes.
Most people dealing with seizures may show other signs like,
- Loud scream
- Lack of responsiveness
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Throbbing headache
If you are noticing any of these signs visit the best epilepsy hospital to get the best treatment for epilepsy.
When should you reach out to your doctor?
In case you notice any of the following signs you should immediately call for help, the signs include:
- Pregnant while having seizures
- Having two episodes of seizures continuously
- Sudden onset of fever
- Seizures lasting more than five minutes
- Unconscious even after seizures stops
What are the common causes of tonic-clonic seizures?
- Traumatic brain injury
- Infections like the encephalitis
- Lack of oxygen related injuries
- Genetic disorders
- Brain cancer
- Impaired brain vessels
- Withdrawal from alcohol
In case you have any of the conditions and seeking treatment for any of these conditions, discuss with the best neurologist in Coimbatore.
What are the complications that follow if tonic-clonic seizures are not managed?
Seizures in general can occur at any time without any signs, hence it can be threatening for you and others, few major complications include,
- Drowing: In case you are out swimming a sudden onset of seizure can lead to accidental drowning.
- Falling: If you fall accidentally there are chances you may hurt your head depending on the severity of fall.
- Accidents: while driving, suffering a seizure can lead to accidents on roads that may even put other lives at stake.
Pregnancy complications: when a mother experiences seizures during her pregnancy it can be risky for the baby as well
What are the diagnostic procedures for identifying a tonic-clonic seizure?
A blood sample may be extracted to analyze the levels of blood sugar and other genetic conditions.
Spinal fluid examination:
In this test, a cerebro-spinal fluid sample is taken to check for any signs of seizures.
In this test, discs are stuck to your head and observe the activity of the brain. On an EEG scan, wavy lines are recorded. The EEG may show a rhythm that shows how likely it is that a seizure will happen again.
In this procedure few tests may be recommended to record the behavior of the patient along with determining motor and sensory abilities.
Along with these other imaging procedures like CT scan and MRI are also performed.
What is the treatment option for epilepsy?
With only one seizure the treatment doesn’t start right away. It takes at least two or more seizures to get treatment recommended.
Getting the right medication and the right dosage can be challenging. An epilepsy doctor will initially prescribe small doses of medications depending on the condition the dosage may be increased or decreased accordingly.
The major aim of epilepsy surgery involves removal of the area in the brain that is triggering seizures.
Vagus nerve stimulation:
The vagus nerve located in the neck is stimulated by a device that is put under the skin of your chest. This sends messages to the brain that stop seizures from happening.
Deep brain stimulation:
In this treatment electrical signals made by the electrodes inserted in the brain control how the brain works. The wires connect to a device that looks like a pacemaker and is put under your chest skin. This is like a pacemaker and it controls the amount of electrical impulses produced.
Seizures in the beginning can be stressful to live. But once you understand the way to cope with it it can be managed efficiently. Follow a healthy lifestyle along with taking medications as per prescription ensures epilepsy does not recur. Reach out to a neurology hospital in Coimbatore if you are looking for epilepsy treatment.