Q: What is a seizure?
- A: A seizure is a brief electrical disturbance in the brain. There are different kinds of seizures, and each person’s seizures are unique to him or her. If a person has had only a single seizure in his/her lifetime, he or she does not have epilepsy.
- Q: What is Epilepsy?
- A: If a person has recurrent seizures, he/she is said to have epilepsy. Just as there are different kinds of seizures, there are different kinds of epilepsy.
- Q: Is there a difference between seizures and epilepsy?
- A: Epilepsy is a syndrome. A syndrome is a collection of symptoms and physical signs that occur because of a specific disease. Symptoms are what a person experiences due to an illness. Fever and pain are two examples of symptoms. Physical signs are abnormalities which can be seen on a physical examination. Redness and swelling are two examples of physical signs. In the syndrome of epilepsy, seizures are one of the symptoms.
- Q: Who has seizures? Who has epilepsy?
- A: About 10% of all people will experience a single seizure during his/her lifetime.
About 3% of Americans will have epilepsy in their lifetime.
Two-and-a-half million Americans have epilepsy.
- Q: What causes epilepsy?
- A: There are many different causes of epilepsy. In only 30% of cases is a clear cause identified. That means that 70% of the time, the cause is unknown. Common causes of epilepsy include head trauma, stroke, brain tumors and infection.
- Q: Is epilepsy contagious?
- A: No. Never.
- Q: How is epilepsy diagnosed?
- A: Usually, the diagnosis is made by a Neurologist or Internist based on symptoms, physical signs, and results of testing such as an electroencephalogram (EEG).
- Q: How is epilepsy treated?
- A: There are many different kinds of epilepsy. The treatment is selected based on the cause of the epilepsy. Medications are the most common treatment, and are usually the first to be tried. There are many available medications, and the type of medicine that is prescribed depends on the kind of epilepsy the person has. In some instances, brain surgery is used to treat seizures. In others, an electrical stimulating device called vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) is implanted in order to reduce or stop seizures.
- Q: What should I do if I have a seizure?
- A: Many people experience a warning, or aura, just before their seizure. The warning may allow that person enough time to find a safe place before the seizure causes him or her to lose consciousness. However, if there is no aura, or if the aura is very brief, this may not be possible. In order to make your environment safer, we have developed a list of seizure precautions that you can use to help prevent injury that can occur during a seizure. In the event of a seizure, friends and family members should be familiar with seizure first aid.
Q:What is a Patient Portal?
A: The patient portal at Floyd Memorial Medical Group allows for better communication with your physician’s office by providing convenient 24/7 access from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Your physician’s office will provide you with a PIN number, which will enable you to register to use this service. Once you sign up, you will be able to access and update your medical record, access lab and diagnostic exam results, communicate securely and confidentially with your physician, pay your bill online and request an appointment.