Seizures

South Valley Neurology

Neurologists and Pediatric Neurologist located in Morgan Hill, CA & San Jose, CA

Epilepsy is the most common type of seizure disorder, but it’s not the only reason you can have a seizure. The experienced doctors at South Valley Neurology specialize in treating seizures and epilepsy, using in-depth testing to identify your type of epilepsy and prescribe the treatment you need to keep seizures under control. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call the office in San Jose, California, for pediatric care or the office in Morgan Hill, California, for older children and adult appointments.

Seizures Q & A

What is a seizure?

Your brain function depends on synchronized electrical impulses. When nerves fire abnormally and electrical activity goes out of control, you have a seizure.

Seizures may occur on one side of your brain, called a focal seizure, or you could have a burst of activity on both sides, which is a generalized seizure. You can also have a seizure that begins on one side and spreads to the other.

What is the difference between seizures and epilepsy?

Having a seizure doesn’t mean you have epilepsy. Epilepsy is a type of seizure. However, seizures are also caused by other health conditions. For example, a stroke, infection, high fever, and traumatic brain injury may all cause a seizure without epilepsy. 

Children can also have seizures for all the same reasons as adults, but most often due to a fever.

Patients are diagnosed with epilepsy when they have a pattern of repeated seizures. Your doctor at South Valley Neurology may diagnose epilepsy after one seizure if specialized studies show you’re at risk for a second seizure.

What symptoms develop due to a seizure?

There are different types of seizures, which are defined by where the seizure begins in your brain and your awareness during the seizure. Some seizures make you lose consciousness. With others, you remain aware and awake.

Each type of seizure has different symptoms. However, as a group, seizures cause:

  • Continuous jerking movements
  • Brief muscle twitches
  • Limp muscles
  • Rigid muscles
  • Blanking out
  • Staring into space
  • Complete immobility
  • Whole body spasms
  • Repetitive movements

Examples of repetitive movements include smacking your lips or clapping your hands. Some types of seizures cause very subtle symptoms. You may have a slight, brief twitch of your eyelids or experience minor sensations. It’s also possible to develop goosebumps or a rapid heartbeat.

How are seizures treated?

After performing a comprehensive neurological exam, you may undergo diagnostic testing, such as an in-office electroencephalography (EEG) to evaluate your brain waves. 

Medication is the first line of treatment for seizures. There are numerous types of anti-epileptic drugs and most target specific types of seizures. In most cases, seizures are well-controlled with one medication. Your South Valley Neurology doctor may add another medication when needed to improve your results. 

If your seizures don’t improve with medication, the team at South Valley Neurology talks with you about potential surgical procedures, such as vagus nerve stimulation or epilepsy surgery.

To receive exceptional treatment for seizures and epilepsy, call South Valley Neurology or request an appointment online today.