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New-onset Seizure In Adults
is an episode of abnormal brain activity that can cause jerky muscle movements, loss of consciousness, or confusion. A new-onset seizure is a seizure that happens for the first time. Some common triggers are alcohol, drugs, lack of sleep, fever, or an infection. High or low blood sugar levels, pregnancy, a head injury, or a stroke could also trigger a seizure. The cause of your seizure may not be known. You have a higher risk for another seizure within the next 2 years.
Signs and symptoms of a seizure:
You may have symptoms before the seizure starts such as dizziness, anxiety, or flashing bright lights. You may have symptoms of one type of a seizure or a combination of different types:
- A generalized seizure may affect both sides of the brain. After you have a generalized seizure you may have a headache or feel irritable. The following are different types of generalized seizures:
- A tonic, clonic, or tonic-clonic seizure usually involves the whole body. A clonic seizure involves jerking body movements. A tonic seizure involves stiffening of the body. A tonic-clonic seizure is a combination of clonic and tonic seizures. It is also called a grand mal seizure. During any of these types of seizures, you may lose consciousness, your eyes may roll up and back into your head, and you may sweat all over your body.
- A myoclonic seizure involves a sudden jerk of all or part of the body.
- An atonic seizure is usually brief and causes a sudden loss of posture. You may fall suddenly to the ground.
- An absence seizure is also known as a petit mal seizure. You may stare blankly into space, and will not pay attention to anything happening around you. Your eyes may flutter or blink repeatedly, and you may smack your lips. You may have several absence seizures throughout a day.
- An atypical absence seizure looks like an absence seizure but with repetitive behaviors such as eye opening and closing, eyes rolling outward or inward, and body stiffening.
- A partial seizure may affect one part of the brain. The symptoms may depend on where in the brain the abnormal activity is happening. It may be simple or complex. A simple partial seizure may not cause you to be less awake or alert. A complex partial seizure may cause you to be less awake or alert. Both types of partial seizures may cause jerky muscle movements, confusion, hallucinations, sweating, or repetitive behaviors.
Have someone else call 911 for any of the following:
- Your seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
- You have trouble breathing.
- You cannot be woken after your seizure.
- You have more than 1 seizure before you are fully awake or aware.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have a second seizure that happens within 24 hours of your first.
- You are injured during a seizure.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You are planning to get pregnant or are currently pregnant.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
may depend on the cause of your seizure. You may be given the following:
- Antiseizure medicine may control or prevent another seizure. Do not stop taking this medicine. You may need blood tests to check the level of medicine in your blood. Your healthcare provider may need to change or adjust your medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Safety measures after a seizure:
- Do not drive until your healthcare provider says it is okay.
- Do not operate heavy equipment or dangerous machines for at least 6 months.
- Do not swim, scuba dive, or climb for 3 months , or as directed.
- Help prevent another seizure with healthy habits. Do not drink alcohol. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and reduce stress. Try to get plenty of sleep.
- Tell your friends, family members, and coworkers that you have had a seizure. Give them written instructions to follow if you have another seizure.
How others can keep you safe during a seizure:
Give the following instructions to family, friends, and coworkers:
- Do not panic.
- Gently guide me to the floor or a soft surface.
- Do not hold me down or put anything in my mouth.
- Place me on my side to help prevent me from swallowing saliva or vomit.
- Protect me from injury. Remove sharp or hard objects from the area surrounding me, or cushion my head.
- Loosen my clothing around the head and neck.
- Time how long my seizure lasts. Call 911 if my seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or if I have a second seizure.
- Stay with me until my seizure ends. Let me rest until I am fully awake.
- Perform CPR if I stop breathing or you cannot feel my pulse.
- Do not give me anything to eat or drink until I am fully awake.
Follow up with your neurologist as directed:
You may need more tests to find the cause of your seizure. You may also need tests to check the level of antiseizure medicine in your blood. Your neurologist may need to change or adjust your medicine. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.