Home / Living / What is epilepsy? Causes, symptoms and what you should do if you see someone having a fit

What is epilepsy? Causes, symptoms and what you should do if you see someone having a fit

ONE in every 100 Brits are affected by epilepsy – and over half a million people in the UK have been diagnosed.

Here’s everything you need to know about the common condition…

 One in 100 people in the UK are believed to be epilepticAlamy One in 100 people in the UK are believed to be epileptic

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a condition of the brain which can disrupt the electrical communication between neurons in the nervous system.

This often leads to seizures, a sudden event that can change a person’s awareness, behaviour or feeling.

The condition is typically diagnosed when a person has two or more unprovoked fits separated by at least 24 hours.

What causes epilepsy?

 The neurological condition affects the nervous system and can lead to seizuresAlamy The neurological condition affects the nervous system and can lead to seizures

A number of different triggers can cause epilepsy.

These can be human factors, including sleep deprivation, alcohol or drug abuse or not eating well.

Stress, hormonal changes or the use of certain medications can also cause epilepsy.

Around three per cent of sufferers are triggered flashing bright lights or patterns, which is known as photosensitive epilepsy.

What are the symptoms of epilepsy?

 Symptoms range from feeling a tinglng sensation in the body to inexplicably moving your arms aroundAlamy Symptoms range from feeling a tinglng sensation in the body to inexplicably moving your arms around

The effects of epilepsy are most visible when a sufferer experiences a seizure.

Fits vary in severity and can be partial or generalised, epileptic people can battle these episodes when they’re awake or asleep.

The NHS reveals the main symptoms of partial seizures, which include:

  • a general strange feeling that is hard to describe
  • a “rising” feeling in your tummy – sometimes likened to the sensation in your stomach when on a fairground ride
  • an intense feeling that events have happened before (déjà vu)
  • experiencing an unusual smell or taste
  • a tingling sensation, or “pins and needles”, in your arms and legs
  • a sudden intense feeling of fear or joy
  • stiffness or twitching in part of the body, such as an arm or hand

The National Health Service warns that these signs could be early warnings that another type of fit is imminent.

Complex partial seizures are also signs of epilepsy, as they cause your sense of awareness and memory to become distorted.

The NHS claims that symptoms can include:

  • smacking your lips
  • rubbing your hands
  • making random noises
  • moving your arms around
  • picking at clothes
  • fiddling with objects
  • adopting an unusual posture
  • chewing or swallowing

Although fits can be a tell-tale symptom of epilepsy, non-epileptic seizures may point to other conditions, including diabetes.

How should you respond if someone has an epileptic fit?

The Epilepsy Foundation has come up with ten simple steps of what to do when someone has a convulsive seizure.

  1. Stay calm.
  2. Look around – is the person in a dangerous place?  If not, don’t move them. Move objects like furniture away from them.
  3. Note the time the seizure starts.
  4. Stay with them. If they don’t collapse but seem blank or confused, gently guide them away from any danger. Speak quietly and calmly.
  5. Cushion their head with something soft if they have collapsed to the ground.
  6. Don’t hold them down.
  7. Don’t put anything in their mouth.
  8. Check the time again. If a convulsive (shaking) seizure doesn’t stop after 5 minutes, call for an ambulance (dial 999).
  9. After the seizure has stopped, put them into the recovery position and check that their breathing is returning to normal.  Gently check their mouth to see that nothing is blocking their airway such as food or false teeth. If their breathing sounds difficult after the seizure has stopped, call for an ambulance.
  10. Stay with them until they are fully recovered.

Check Also

Aldi is selling £14.99 sheepskin slippers that are VERY similar to UGG’s £60 pair

EVERYONE needs a pair of cosy slippers to see them through the winter. UGG’s Schuffettes are always a popular choice for shoppers, but they come at a hefty price tag. From around £60, you can…

Bir Cevap Yazın

E-posta hesabınız yayımlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir

%d blogcu bunu beğendi: