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Temporal Lobe Seizures

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is a temporal lobe seizure?

A seizure is an abnormal burst of electrical activity in your brain. A temporal lobe seizure starts in the temporal lobe of the brain. One temporal lobe is on each side of the brain, near the temples. This part of the brain controls memory, emotions, and language processing. A temporal lobe seizure is called a focal seizure because it starts in one part of your brain. The seizure may last 60 to 90 seconds. It may be simple or complex. Simple means you stay aware of your surroundings. Complex means you lose awareness. The seizure can become a generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure. This may cause you to have convulsions.

What increases my risk for temporal lobe seizures?

What are the signs and symptoms of a temporal lobe seizure?

How is a temporal lobe seizure diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your health conditions and what medicines you take. Describe how you felt before and after the seizure. Include details about the side of your body that seemed more affected. Tell the provider how close together the seizures were if you had more than one. Your healthcare provider will ask for a detailed description of each seizure. If possible, bring someone with you who saw you have a seizure. Nose wiping is common after a temporal lobe seizure. Your provider may ask which hand you used to wipe your nose. That hand will usually be on the opposite side from where the seizure started. You may also need any of the following:

How is a temporal lobe seizure treated?

The goal of treatment is to try to stop your seizures completely. You may need any of the following:

What can I do to prevent a seizure?

You may not be able to prevent every seizure. The following can help you manage triggers that may make a seizure start:

What can I do to manage temporal lobe seizures?

What do I need to know about stopping my medicine?

Your healthcare provider can help you understand and make decisions about continuing or stopping antiseizure medicines. Do not stop taking the medicine until your provider says it is okay. You may need to be seizure free for 18 to 24 months before you can stop your medicine. Seizures might happen again while you stop taking the medicine, or after you stop. Rarely, these seizures no longer respond to medicines. Tests such as an EEG may be useful in helping you and your provider make medicine decisions.

How can others keep me safe during a seizure?

Give the following instructions to family, friends, and coworkers:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.