Answers to Common Seizure Questions

Premier Physician Network doctors answer frequently asked questions about seizures.

What are things someone can do when they are near someone having seizure?

One in every 10 people has had a seizure, which makes seizures a common condition that you might one day witness in person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionOff Site Icon(CDC).

Knowing what to do if someone near you has a seizure is important so you can help care for them and get them the help they need. The CDC says you should take the following steps if you see someone having a seizure:

During the seizure:

  • Check for a medical bracelet or other emergency information
  • Ease the person to the floor
  • Gently turn the person onto one side to help them breathe
  • Keep yourself and other people around you calm
  • Loosen or remove anything from around the person’s neck, including ties, necklaces, or a tightly buttoned shirt, to help them breathe
  • Put a soft, flat object – such as a folded coat or towel – under the person’s head
  • Remove any sharp or hard things from around the person to prevent injury
  • Take the person’s glasses off

After the seizure:

  • Comfort the person and speak calmly to them
  • Help the person to a safe place
  • If you are not at the person’s home, call for transportation to get them home safely
  • Make sure the person is fully awake
  • Stay with the person until the seizure ends
  • Talk to the person to explain in simple terms what happened

When to call 911:

  • If a seizure lasts longer than five minutes
  • Several seizures happen in a row
  • If you are in doubt or the person’s condition

If the person has an established cause of seizures (like epilepsy) and the seizure is very typical, there is no need to call 911.

Talk to your doctor to learn more about what to do if someone around you has a seizure.

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Can it be difficult to find a seizure’s trigger?

Dr. Arshi Naz discusses difficulties in finding what triggers a seizure. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Finding what triggered a seizure can be tricky.

Sleep deprivation can be one common trigger of seizures, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians say.

But other triggers, according to the Epilepsy FoundationOff Site Icon (EF), could also include:

  • Alcohol use
  • Caffeine
  • Drug use
  • Fevers
  • Flashing bright lights
  • Low blood sugar
  • Medication
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Not eating well
  • Stress
  • Time of day

Talk to your doctor for more details about difficulties in finding what triggers a seizure.

Learn more:

  • Learn about seizure triggersOff Site Icon
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    How can a diary help you with your treatment of epilepsy?

    Dr. Arshi Naz discusses how a diary can help you with your treatment of epilepsy. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

       

    Keeping a diary can help you and your doctor find the best treatment and prevention options for managing your seizures and epilepsy, according to the Epilepsy FoundationOff Site Icon (EF). 

    Your diary can also help you keep track of when to take medications, prescriptions refills, medical appointments, medical history, and much more.

    Talk to your doctor for more information about how a diary can help with your treatment of epilepsy.

    Learn more:

  • Learn about seizure diariesOff Site Icon
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    What type of information can you record or track in an epilepsy diary?

    Dr. Arshi Naz discusses information that can you record in an epilepsy diary. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

        

    Your epilepsy diary should include more information than just when you’ve had seizures.

    Epilepsy FoundationOff Site Icon (EF) shares some important details you should make sure to include in your seizure diary.

    While some of the information might seem obvious, other information might not seem as important, but it can actually have a major effect on your likelihood of seizures.

    Your diary information should include:

    • Frequency of seizures
    • Length of your seizure
    • Lifestyle changes
    • Medication changes over time
    • Medication side effects
    • Menstrual cycle, for women
    • Mood changes
    • Sleep pattern, including lack of sleep
    • Stress you feel
    • Type of seizure
    • When you have a seizure
    • When you miss a dose of any medication
    • Your current medication types and doses
    • Your medical history

    Before working on your diary, talk with your physician to determine if there’s other important information he or she would like you to include.

    For more information about what to record or track in an epilepsy diary, talk with your doctor.

    Learn more:

  • Learn about an epilepsy diaryOff Site Icon
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    Are there pre-created epilepsy diaries available for you to use?

    Dr. Arshi Naz discusses how to find a pre-created epilepsy diary. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

         

    Technology can be a great tool to use when keeping an epilepsy diary.

    Many options of epilepsy and seizure diaries are available online through sites such as the Epilepsy FoundationOff Site Icon (EF) and the American Epilepsy SocietyOff Site Icon (AES).

    These online diaries and downloadable apps are helpful at tracking not only seizures, their length, and duration but also doctor’s appointments, medications, and other daily changes you want to track.

    If online and epilepsy diaries aren’t your style, a pen and paper will work just as well. Just make sure to talk to your doctor about what you should include in your own epilepsy diary.

    For more information about pre-created epilepsy diaries, talk with your doctor.

    Learn more:

  • Learn about epilepsy diariesOff Site Icon
  • Learn about keeping an epilepsy diaryOff Site Icon
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    Thanks to these Premier Physician Network’s doctors for answering these common questions about the brain and memory:

    Additional Resources

    This website provides general medical information that should be used for informative and educational purposes only. Information found here should not be used as a substitute for the personal, professional medical advice of your physician. Do not begin any course of treatment without consulting a physician.
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