Understanding Epilepsy- Types of Seizures

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The most frequent reason for seizures is epilepsy. It is a condition in which particular brain nerve cells malfunction. They may change how you act or perceive the world for a brief while. However, there are some other reasons for seizures as well. 

  1. Head injury
  2. Fever due to any viral or bacterial infection
  3. Stroke
  4. Medication overdose
  5. brain tumor
  6. Less sleep
  7. Hyponatremia
epilepsy seizures

Types of Epileptic Seizures

There are two major types of seizures in epilepsy.

Focal/Partial Seizures

These all originate in a particular region of your brain. Focal seizures can affect your physical and psychological well-being and lead you to experience unreal feelings, visions, or sounds.

This form of seizure, also known as a partial seizure, occurs in about 60% of people with epilepsy. The characteristics of a focal seizure can occasionally be confused with mental illness or another type of neurological condition.

Types of Focal/Partial Seizures

Focal seizures have three types.

Simple Focal Seizures

They alter how your senses perceive the environment around you. They may cause your fingers, arms, or legs to twitch, and they may cause you to smell or taste weird things. Other potential symptoms include light flashes and dizziness. Though you’re not going to pass out, you could feel queasy.

epilepsy seizures
Complex Focal Seizures 

It may cause confusion or drowsiness in people with epilepsy. They won’t be able to answer questions or follow instructions for up to a few minutes.

The area of your brain that regulates emotion and memory is where these typically occur. You might pass out a while, but you’re awake. You might choke, smack your lips, crack up, or cry. Someone experiencing a complex focal seizure could take several minutes to recover.

Secondary Generalized Seizure

After starting in one brain area, it eventually spreads to both hemispheres. They may result in convulsions or muscle slackness, some apparent symptoms of a generalized seizure.

In other words, the individual first experiences a focused seizure, then a generalized seizure.

Generalized Seizures

When the abnormal electrical activity that causes a seizure starts at the exact moment in both hemispheres of the brain, it results in a generalized seizure.

After starting in one brain area, it eventually spreads to both sides. They may result in convulsions or muscle slackness, some apparent symptoms of a generalized seizure.

In other words, the individual first experiences a focused seizure, then a generalized seizure.

Types of Generalized Seizures

There are six types of generalized seizures in total.

Absence Seizures

A temporary, unexpected loss in awareness is a prime feature of absence seizures. Children experience them more frequently than adults do. A person experiencing an absence seizure could appear to be staring off into nothingness for a brief period of time. Then there is a rapid return to a state of attention in this type of seizure. You might not recall having one, and they typically only last a brief period of time.

Myoclonic Seizures

The duration of myoclonic seizures is usually only a few seconds. In a short period of time, you could experience several myoclonic seizures.

A muscle or set of muscles will briefly and jerkily spasm during myoclonic seizures. Atonic seizures also co-occur with them.

Abnormal electrical activity in the brain leads to myoclonic seizures. Alcohol, exhaustion, fever, infections, light stimulation, and stress are a few common triggers.

Atonic Seizures

Atonic seizures are a particular kind of seizure that results in an abrupt loss of muscle strength. These seizures are also known as akinetic seizures. The person may lose their balance due to a momentary muscle tone or strength loss. In most cases, the subject is awake and doesn’t always lose their balance.

Though some people experience several in a sequence, these typically last less than 15 seconds. People prone to atonic seizures may need to wear a helmet to cover their heads due to the possibility of falling.

Tonic Seizures

The arms, legs, or trunk muscles become suddenly rigid or tense during a tonic seizure. Most frequently occurring during sleep, the stiffness lasts for about 20 seconds. Standing people who experience tonic seizures may lose their balance.

Clonic Seizures

On one or both sides of the body, the arms and legs will repeatedly jerk back and forth, and there may also be numbness or tingling.

Tonic-Clonic Seizures

These stand out the most. This kind of seizure causes your body to twitch, stiffen, and shake, and it also causes you to lose consciousness.

The person may lose consciousness and fall as the tonic-clonic seizure starts. Even if the person is unaware of their surroundings, severe tonic muscular spasms can force air out of the lungs and cause a yell or groan. The mouth may be producing foam or saliva.

Your bladder and bowels can sometimes be out of control. They often go for one to three minutes. If they continue, people should call an emergency. That may cause breathing difficulties or perhaps cause you to bite your tongue.


A doctor can use several tests to identify the kind of epilepsy you could have. A physical examination, blood tests, EEG, and the scanning might be part of this. Medications, surgery, vagus stimulation, and a high-fat diet may all treat different types of epilepsy.

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