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What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a common condition that causes repeated seizures. The seizures are caused by bursts of electrical activity in the brain that are not normal. Seizures may cause problems with muscle control, movement, speech, vision, or awareness. They usually don’t last very long. The good news is that treatment usually works to control and reduce seizures.

What causes epilepsy?

Causes of epilepsy is unknown. Sometimes another problem, such as a head injury, brain tumor, brain infection, or stroke, causes epilepsy.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures that happen without any symptoms. Without treatment, seizures may become worse and more frequent over time.

There are different kinds of seizures. :

  • You may lose control of your muscles.
  • You may fall down, and your body may twitch or jerk.
  • You may lose consciousness.

Not everyone who has seizures has epilepsy.

How is epilepsy diagnosed?

The doctor will ask questions to find out what happened to you just before, during, and right after a seizure. The doctor will also examine you and do some tests, such as an EEG. This information can help the doctor decide what kind of seizures you have and if you have epilepsy.

Epilepsy MRI

How is it treated?

Medicine controls seizures in many people who have epilepsy. It may take time and careful, controlled changes by you and the doctor to find the right combination, schedule, and dosing of medicine to best manage your epilepsy. The goal is to prevent seizures and cause as few side effects as possible.

How will epilepsy affect your life?

Epilepsy affects each person differently. Some people have only a few seizures. Other people get them more often. Talk to the doctor about whether it is safe for you to drive or swim.

If you know what triggers a seizure, you may be able to avoid having one. Getting regular sleep and avoiding stress may help. If treatment controls your seizures, you have a good chance of living and working like everyone else.

But seizures can happen even when you do everything you are supposed to do. If you continue to have seizures, help is available. Ask the doctor about what treatments are available.


Dr Mathew Tung

Dr Mathew Tung Neurosurgeon

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