Believe it or not, epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder, causing seizures that vary in scale, severity, and in the age of the individuals that experience them. Dr. Bruno Gallo specializes in treating epilepsy along with numerous other neurological disorders.
Essentially known as a “seizure disorder,” epilepsy can develop in any person and at any age and any time. Caused by a wide range of factors that include, but are not limited to, health conditions, age, race, and genetic circumstances, approximately 48 cases out of 100,000 people will develop epilepsy each year.
This disorder, as mentioned above, causes seizures in those individuals that are diagnosed by experts such as Dr. Bruno Gallo. The seizure, which varies in size and scale from person to person, often occurs in three different stages. The first stage of the seizure is termed an aura. During this phase, epileptic individuals experience a change in feeling, sensation, behavior, or thought. Acting as a warning phase, the aura is often followed by the ictal phase. From the initial symptoms experienced during the aura, all of the other symptoms that are experienced until the end of the seizure activity are classified as being part of the ictal phase. The ictal phase is then commonly followed by the postictal phase. Considered the recovery period, the length and symptoms classifying this phase can differ from person to person. Sometimes lasting a few minutes, while other times lasting several hours, this is the period that an epileptic individual experiences before feeling like their usual self.
In addition to being explained by the different phases, epilepsy and the associated seizures can be understood by recognition of the symptoms involved throughout each phase as well as more generally speaking. Before a seizure begins, individuals can often recognize changes in awareness, sensory, emotional, or thought changes. This individual may sense and recognize unusual sounds, tastes, smells or even experience vision loss or vision blurring. In addition to this, a sense of Deja vu may overcome the individual as well as racing emotional feelings such as fear or panic. Physically speaking, the person that may soon experience a seizure may feel dizzy or lightheaded, or may suffer from feelings of nausea or headaches.
Once the second phase (often the more recognizable phase) begins, it is common for the epileptic individual to experience a complete loss of awareness or eventual loss of consciousness. Like with the phase before, the seizing individual may also sense unusual smells, tastes, sounds, or notice changes in vision. In addition to feelings of electric shock or body numbness, physical changes that include drooling, difficulty speaking, lack of movement or muscle tones, or tremors and jerking movements may take place. Dilated pupils, racing heart, convulsions, or automatisms may also take place.
In the recovery phase of the seizure, the epileptic will be slow to respond and may appear sleepy or confused, while displaying feelings that are emotional in nature, including feeling depressed, upset, scared, anxious, frustrated, or embarrassed.
Like stated before, each individual will display a unique set of symptoms depending on the extent of their disorder, as well as the uniqueness of them as an individual. In every circumstance, it is important to be supportive and attentive to these individuals before, during, and after their seizure takes place.