According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, a seizure is defined as a burst of uncontrolled electrical activity between brain cells that causes temporary abnormalities in muscle tone or movements. While North Suffolk Neurology explains that the effects of most seizures are transient, more-serious consequences can occur if the patient injures themself while having a seizure, or if a medical emergency transpires.
With this in mind, it is important to learn the early warning signs of a seizure, so that you will be able to protect yourself or a loved one if you find yourself in a situation where preventive protection is necessary. North Suffolk Neurology recommends that those who are experiencing early warning signs of a seizure get to a safe place and tell someone they trust what’s going on.
For information on what to do if you witness someone else having a seizure, visit the CDC’s website.
Know the Warning Signs of a Seizure
Prodrome Phase (Early Warning Signs)
There are several different types of seizures. People with generalized seizures, also known as tonic-clonic seizures, may experience a set of symptoms in the hours or days leading up to a seizure.
These warning signs, known as prodrome, are outlined by North Suffolk Neurology and are as follows:
- Mood swings
- Inability to concentrate
- Increased agitation and irritability
- Trouble sleeping
Seizure Aura (Late Warning Signs)
People with partial seizures, which are defined by Cedars Sinai as happening when unusual electrical activity affects a small area of the brain, may experience certain symptoms minutes or even seconds before the seizure begins.
Symptoms that occur in this phase, which are known as seizure aura, are listed by North Suffolk Neurology as follows:
- Unusual smells, tastes, sounds, or sensations
- A Déjà vu feeling (you feel like you are experiencing something that has occurred before)
- Intense fear and panic
- ‘Pins and needles’ sensation in certain parts of your body
- Jerky movements in of the arm, leg, or body
- Weakness and falling to the ground
For more information on the types of seizures and their warning signs, visit www.hopkinsmedicine.org.