What if i had an epileptic fit for the first time? | NOW

Every week Edwin de Vaal, general practitioner in Nijmegen, answers a frequently asked or suspicious question from his practice. This week it says: What should I do if I have had an epileptic fit for the first time?

What happens in the event of an epileptic fit?

“When it comes to epilepsy, most people think of someone who passes out and starts shaking their arms and legs violently. But there are other forms too. Some people suddenly stop responding or stare blankly. They can hear strange noises that tingling. Feeling or seeing colors. What happens varies from person to person. “

If I have a seizure, will I have epilepsy?

About one in twenty people will have a seizure, also known as an “occasional seizure”, at one point in their life. The best known is the febrile seizure in young children. We only talk about epilepsy as a condition if you have two or more seizures a year. An occasional attack is provoked by the circumstances. Tension and stress can be triggers. Sleep deprivation and fatigue too. “

‚ÄúSome people know that stress or poor sleep can trigger an attack. Unfortunately there is nothing general to say about the signs. “

Do you need to see a doctor immediately after such a first attack?

“Yes. Finding out what caused the attack is important. It doesn’t have to be serious, but it can be. Sometimes it’s a symptom of a serious underlying condition like a brain tumor or hemorrhage.”

“If someone witnessed your attack, it is good to take him or her to the doctor. It is often difficult for you to reproduce exactly how it went. Therefore, it may be good for people who have it frequently. To ask to film your attack. That sounds crude, but it can be of great help to the GP or neurologist to find the place where the attack begins in the brain and what the cause is. “

Do you need to take the drug immediately after an attack?

“Not if the doctor suspects it’s an occasional seizure and therefore a one-time seizure. If the doctor has doubts or suspects there might be more going on, you can be referred to a neurologist. When the neurological tests show that you have epilepsy, you can. ” You will be prescribed medication to prevent future attacks. That is always in consultation. “

What are the first signs of an epileptic fit?

“It’s hard to tell because how the attack is triggered varies from person to person. Sometimes your senses get stronger, just like with migraines. You can suddenly become over-sensitive to sounds or lights. Some people know they are stressful or bad. Sleep provokes an attack. But unfortunately there is nothing general to say about the omens. “