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If you recently experienced head trauma, you might wonder, “Can head trauma cause seizures?” You may have already experienced what you believe is a seizure. First and foremost, you should seek medical advice from a top neurologist in New York to ensure safety and prompt treatment.
When you sustain a serious head injury, you could have a seizure or develop epilepsy as a result. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that a tenth of all people who went to the hospital for head trauma would later experience related seizures within three years. Continue reading to learn about seizures and how they relate to traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
What Are Seizures?
While many people develop epilepsy because of genetic factors, others get seizures due to a traumatic brain injury or head trauma. TBIs can occur for several reasons, including:
- An object penetrating the skull and brain tissue
- Skull fractures where pieces of skull pierce into brain tissue
- Your head colliding suddenly and forcefully with another object
- Forceful, continuous shaking
If you survive any of these occurrences, your risk of having a seizure increases. Seizures happen when atypical electrical activity sends signals in your brain. They often happen suddenly and unpredictably. You can’t prevent a seizure from occurring.
Symptoms of a Seizure
While you should seek treatment for any TBI (traumatic brain injury), you may not need to look for things like ‘neurologist specializing in traumatic brain injury near me’ on Google to identify a seizure. Each type of seizure shares similar symptoms, whether a tonic-clonic or focal seizure.
Some seizure symptoms include:
- Flat, expressionless stare
- Unresponsive to stimuli
- Lip-smacking or other uncharacteristic mouth movements
- Visual auras
- Inability to speak
- Sudden irritability
These symptoms often accompany the recognizable twitching or jerking body movements. However, twitching doesn’t come with all seizures. Instead, some contain more subtle hallmarks.
Most seizure symptoms last a few seconds before dissipating. However, some seizures can last up to ten minutes.
Seizures lasting two or more minutes are considered severe. They can affect your ability to care for yourself in the coming hours or days.
Can Head Trauma Cause Seizures?
So, can head trauma cause seizures? According to the Epilepsy Foundation, around half of all people with a TBI will develop post-traumatic epilepsy within a year of their injury. If you suffered a more severe head injury, you could experience a seizure as late as 15 years after your injuries occurred.
Some people may only have one seizure because of their head trauma and will never have another seizure again. However, many others will have two or more seizures.
When you have recurrent seizures, you could develop a condition called epilepsy.
Early Post-Traumatic Seizure
An early post-traumatic seizure happens within a week of sustaining head trauma. Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center states that only a fourth of people who have an early post-traumatic seizure will have another one at a later time. While having a seizure so soon after your head injury seems frightening, it greatly reduces your likelihood of developing epilepsy later.
Late Post-Traumatic Seizure
With late post-traumatic seizures, you have a seizure more than a week after your head injury. It can take months or years for the seizure to occur. However, late post-traumatic seizures indicate a higher likelihood of developing epilepsy by 80%.
Risk Factors for Post-Traumatic Seizures
You might wonder what you can do to reduce your likelihood of seizures or epilepsy. Even though you can’t control the time or place a seizure overtakes you, you can develop a few habits that may decrease your risk factors.
For example, you can integrate healthier habits into your lifestyle. If you drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, or consume other addictive substances, your chances of experiencing a seizure increase. Cutting down on or quitting such substances improves your health; they trigger an inflammatory response in your body, especially your brain.
Boosting your immune system can also decrease your chances of having seizures. When you get sick or run a fever, your brain is more likely to foster unusual electric activity.
If you practice good sleep, you may enjoy better sleep regularly. Restful sleep also prevents you from having seizures.
However, you may not have control over other factors. For example, a family history of epilepsy puts you at greater risk of seizures related to head trauma. Certain head injuries, such as ones that penetrate brain tissues, will also put you at greater risk of trauma-related seizures.
How to Treat Post-Traumatic Seizures
While no home remedies for seizures currently exist, you can speak to a doctor specializing in head injuries. If your injury occurred due to a car wreck, search “auto accident neurologist near me” on the internet. This query will lead you to results specific to your location and needs.
Once you find a suitable doctor, they may recommend a myriad of treatments to keep your seizures under control. If you only had one seizure, you may not need therapy besides close observation of related symptoms. If you have had multiple seizures, your doctor will prescribe a medication designed to manage them.
Some lifestyle changes may be necessary to improve your health over time.
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