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What are the Signs of a Seizure?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2016
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The signs of a seizure just before it occurs typically include blurry vision, tingling, or a funny taste in the mouth. A person who is about to experience a seizure might occasionally have an intense feeling of deja vu. Many people have no signs of a seizure at all before it happens. People who have epilepsy often experience seizures, but they can be a problem for people without epilepsy, too. In many cases, non-epileptic seizures are brought on by intense mental trauma or stress.

Seizures are typically divided up into three phases: the beginning, middle, and end. During the beginning part of a seizure, people might tend to feel the initial symptoms, such as blurred vision and a tingling sensation. These initial signs of a seizure are occasionally referred to as the aura of a seizure, and in many cases it helps a person to prepare for the episode. During the middle part of a seizure, a person might begin to convulse and black out entirely. The final part of a seizure usually involves a person coming back into his or her normal state of mind, and he or she may or may not remember experiencing the seizure.

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During a seizure, people tend to jerk involuntarily, and their eyes may roll back into their heads. Incontinence, racing heartbeat, and tongue biting are also common. Some people may not be able to move at all. Additionally, if a person is conscious while experiencing a seizure, he or she might feel panicked and fearful. After a seizure, many people tend to feel exhausted and might have a severe headache.

Non-epileptic people who experience seizures tend recover faster from the experience than people who are epileptic. Many of the same signs of a seizure are present during a non-epileptic seizure, but there may be a few differences. People who have psychologically induced seizures might have jerking movements, but these movements tend to be more voluntary and the movements usually increase in intensity during the seizure. During an epileptic seizure, people do not typically cry or shriek loudly, but during a psychologically induced seizure it is quite common for a person to scream and make other sounds.

Most seizures are a direct result of disruption with the brain's electrical impulses. Some things that trigger seizures in epileptic people might include failure to take prescribed medication, flashing lights, and drinking or smoking too much. Changes in hormones can also bring on seizures in epileptic women. In addition to psychological trauma, people who do not have epilepsy might experience seizures due to various diseases, abnormally high fevers, and some medications, including penicillin.

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