The Medline Plus in nlm.nih.gov specified that “…seizures are symptoms of a brain problem.” Seizures happen due to sudden and abnormal electrical movements in the brain. In the U.S., each state has a set of laws prescribing which people with a previous seizure history are allowed to drive. If you have never experienced any symptom of seizure, there is no need to try to prevent it. But once you have had symptoms, you should know how to treat seizures.
Focal and generalized seizures are the two main types of seizures. Focal or partial seizures occur in just a portion of the brain, while generalized seizures occur as a result of abnormal activities happening on the sides of the brain. Usually, seizures last from 30 seconds to 3 minutes without any permanent injury. If seizures last over five minutes or the person is not able to wake up in between, the same is already a medical emergency. High fevers, head injuries, and drug intake are the common causes of seizures. An individual experiencing recurring seizures because of a brain disorder has epilepsy.
Below are important tips in treating seizures:
Observe home care. Most seizures stop without intervention, but the patient can get hurt during the incident. When seizures happen, try not to fall on the floor. Your objective is to keep your head from sustaining injury. Find a flat area where you can rest. In the meantime, other members of the family must clear the area of sharp objects and furniture. Ask for help to loosen tight clothing, particularly around your neck. The person looking after you must not leave your side until the medical help has arrived.
Take medications as prescribed. Medications are used to stop seizures from occurring. Proper drugs, when taken, will take a week or two to build up in the bloodstream and become effective eventually. If your current medication is not enough in preventing a seizure, ask your doctor to modify the prescription.
In the U.S., since 1990 until today, there are only 20 medicines certified by the Food and Drug Administration in treating seizures. These are: Tegretol, Tranxene, Klonopin, Zarontin, Felbatol, Cerebyx, Neurontin, Vimpat, Lamictal, Keppra, Trileptal, Luminal, Dilantin, Lyrica, Mysoline, Gabitril, Topamax, Depakote, Depakene and Zonegran.
Inject a tranquilizer. This is recommended for patients experiencing acute seizures. Tranquilizers such as Lorazepam and Diazepam can be injected at the moment a seizure sets in. Both drugs have been proven effective in controlling the degree of the seizure. In effect, the patient can feel temporary relief.
Switch to a ketogenic diet. This diet plan is mainly low in carbohydrates and high in fat. Individuals undergoing this diet are normally required to be in the hospital and home care follows later. This diet has been proven effective in at least 50 percent of children suffering from medically intractable and severe seizures. When this diet is strictly observed, seizure attacks can be prevented.
The New York Times reported that this ketogenic diet reduced seizure attacks among epileptics, especially those drug-resistant ones, by more than 90 percent in 7 percent of patients, and by more than 50 percent in 38 percent of patients.
Undergo surgery. This is supposed to be the last measure in preventing seizure attacks. The portion causing the seizure will be removed from the brain. Since this is a dangerous procedure involving the brain, it must be performed by a neurosurgeon specialist. After the operation, there may be complications for the patient’s eyesight, speech, and memory. Although not always successful, surgery is still a good option that prevents seizures from recurring.
Observe regular checkups. After the operation, a series of checkups will follow since the neurologist will monitor your progress. Likely, an electroencephalogram (EEG) test will be conducted on you to identify if the seizures are under control. Based on your medical progress, the doses of your medications may be decreased or increased.
Since you can never tell when seizures will attack, be sure to take your medications as instructed. Get plenty of sleep and eliminate stress. While you eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly. Remember, poor lifestyle habits can make you more prone to seizure attacks. The tips above on how to treat seizures should serve as your guide during seizure attacks and in your pursuit for treating this disorder.