Seeing someone having a seizure can be a terrifying experience, especially if you don’t know what to do. Learning its signs and symptoms and what to do keeps you better armed in case you see somebody, like a loved one, experiencing a seizure. Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes seizures, and as many as five million Americans are diagnosed with it, and the numbers continue to rise.
While it is rare for seizures to turn fatal, it is still possible. A person losing control of their body is unable to protect themself, which could become a life-threatening situation. In such a case, knowing what to look for may save a life.
Read on if you want to know how to tell if someone is having a seizure.
Symptoms of a Seizure
Most seizures end in a few minutes. A person who is about to have a seizure usually gives off warning signs.
Some of the most common signs of an impending seizure include:
- Blanking out or staring into space
- A feeling of impending doom, intense fear, and panic
- A feeling of having butterflies in the stomach
- Speaking difficulty or not being able to form clear thoughts
- Becoming unresponsive
- Hearing impairment
- Suddenly feeling very small or very big
During a seizure, a person may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Convulsion or shaking
- Body stiffening and becoming rigid as a board
- Screaming, grunting, or snorting
- Twitching and jerking movements of the arms and legs
A person experiencing seizures will eventually recover from their symptoms. When they come to or regain consciousness, they may be disoriented and confused. A seizure becomes a medical emergency if it lasts longer than five minutes.
What You Should Do: First-Aid for Seizures
In order to help someone having a seizure, do the following:
- Time the seizure: Call 911 if it lasts longer than five minutes.
- Do not place anything in their mouth.
- Do not try to hold the person down.
- Do not give them anything to eat or drink.
- Try to keep the person in a safe place or ensure that they are kept out of harm’s way. High-risk places are the kitchen, bathroom, stairs, bodies of water, and near roads.
- Try to turn the person on their side to prevent them from choking on drool.
- Wait until the person regains consciousness. A seizure should only last a few minutes. If the person experiences difficulty breathing and walking, call 911.
Board-Certified Neurologist in Farmington Hills, MI
People experiencing seizures need to see a neurologist for appropriate management of their condition, as seizures are caused by abnormal brain activity. The board-certified neurologists at Associates in Neurology specialize in treating patients with neurological disorders and will diagnose, treat, and help you or your loved one manage whatever neurological condition you have.
To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, call our main neurology clinic today at (248) 478-5512 or use our convenient online request form. We look forward to giving you compassionate and expert neurological care.