A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disorder in the brain. This can lead to changes in your behavior, movements or feelings, and in your consciousness. Two or more seizures 24 hours or more apart that are not caused by an identifiable cause are generally considered epilepsy.
There are many types of seizures that vary in terms of symptoms and severity. The types of seizures vary depending on where they start in the brain and how they spread. Most seizures last 30 seconds to two minutes. A seizure that lasts longer than five minutes is a medical emergency.
During a seizure, the signs and symptoms can vary from mild to severe and vary depending on the type of seizure. The signs and symptoms of a seizure can include:
- Temporary confusion
- A magic look
- Uncontrollable jerky movements of the arms and legs
- Loss of consciousness or loss of consciousness
- Cognitive or emotional symptoms such as anxiety, anxiety, or déjà vu
Nerve cells (neurons) in the brain create, send and receive electrical impulses that allow the nerve cells in the brain to communicate. Anything that disrupts these lines of communication can lead to a seizure. Some types of seizure disorders can be caused by genetic mutations.
The most common cause of seizures is epilepsy. But not all people who have a seizure have epilepsy. Sometimes seizures can be caused or triggered by:
High fever, which may be associated with an infection such as meningitis
lack of sleep
Flashing lights, moving patterns, or other visual stimulants
Sometimes a seizure can lead to dangerous circumstances for you or for others. You could be at risk for:
Falling. If you fall during a seizure, you can injure your head or break a bone.
Drown. If you have a seizure while swimming or bathing, there is a risk of accidental drowning.
Car accidents. A seizure that leads to loss of consciousness or control can be dangerous while you are driving a car or using other devices.
Pregnancy complications. Seizures during pregnancy are dangerous to both mother and child, and some anti-epileptic drugs increase the risk of birth defects. If you have epilepsy and are planning to become pregnant, see your doctor so they can adjust your medication and monitor your pregnancy as needed.