What causes seizures?
Witnessing a loved one having a seizure can be absolutely terrifying. Besides the trauma of seeing someone in this vulnerable position, it is even more disconcerting when you don’t know what is causing the attack.
For the most part, abnormal electrical activity in the brain triggers seizures, although there can be a multitude of factors.
According to the information on the medical site Up to Date, A minority of people have seizure triggers, such as strong emotions, intense exercise, loud music, or flashing lights. When these triggers are at play, they usually immediately precede the seizure.
Seizures are characterised by changes in awareness, behaviour, and/or abnormal movements. Seizures last anywhere from a few seconds to minutes. Many seizures can actually go by undetected, and some even happen when people are asleep.
Although they are more difficult to link to a seizure, other factors can also increase the likelihood that a seizure will happen. As an example, fever, menstrual periods, a lack of sleep, and stress can all increase the risk of seizures in some people.
What do you do when someone is having a seizure?
Firstly, make sure that they cannot injure their head. If possible, place a cushion or pillow-like object underneath their head and neck.
Remove any harmful objects from close proximity.
Most people who suffer from seizure causing conditions like epilepsy usually carry an epilepsy identity card. These cards have information on what to do, and sometimes who to call. It acts the same as medical jewellery, which informs paramedics of any allergies the patient may have.
If you can, it is advised that you time how long the seizure lasts. They may need this information from you when reporting to their doctor.
Don’t restrain or hold them down. Allow the seizure to run its course.
If you know that this is the person’s first seizure, call an ambulance to the scene.