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What is Epilepsy, Triggers, Causes, and Symptoms

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There are over 50 million people around the world who have been affected by epilepsy. This created an urge to know more about the frequently asked question “what is epilepsy?” to facilitate the lives of patients while providing doctors, caregivers, and people in general with some deep knowledge to deal with anyone living with epilepsy.

The more we understand what causes epilepsy, the better we can find ways to manage its symptoms. Epilepsy is a neurological condition that leads to sudden seizures, which can affect concentration and cause severe convulsions.

In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about epilepsy triggers, causes, and symptoms. Keep on reading to discover the answer to the commonly asked question: What is epilepsy?

What is Epilepsy?

Well, this was tackled a lot, but let us be more precise in introducing it. In a situation where nerve cell activity undergoes any kind of interruption, it leads to sudden seizures, and the scientific name of this condition is called “epilepsy.”

To diagnose epilepsy, you need to be involved in neurological exams along with many diagnostic tests, such as the EEG. Lots of people with epilepsy are trying to coexist with it by maintaining the use of treatments and medication, while others are developing other ways to dig deep into knowing this disorder, seeking more effective ways to find curable therapies for it. Epilepsy doesn’t solely manifest in physical symptoms; it can also lead to emotional instability or disrupt social well-being. Epilepsy patients may eventually have to deal with misunderstanding, stigma, and discrimination.

These challenges can be an obstacle during the treatment journey that may vary from one case to another, depending on both the type of epilepsy and the frequency of seizures.

After exploring the question “What is epilepsy?” through the previous lines, let’s move on now to know more about epilepsy triggers.

Epilepsy Triggers

What is the reason behind epilepsy? Despite the fact that epilepsy most of the time cannot be expected, there are multiple reasons that can double the chance of a sudden seizure strike. Tracing the factors that trigger epilepsy helps us minimize and control both the repetition and intensity of symptoms. Here are some of the most famous triggers that can be the main reason behind epilepsy:


It is painful how our body responds to stress; it usually backfires on our health! For sure, stress is regarded as a huge factor that can easily cause seizures, and the only way to prevent this is to follow some relaxation techniques or practice breathing exercises to get rid of stress.

Lack of Sleep

Sleep deprivation may trigger a seizure so quickly. To prevent that from happening, any patient with epilepsy should make sure to get enough sleep. Following a consistent sleep schedule is mandatory because seizures are highly affected by sleep patterns.

Bright Flashing Lights

Cannot tell if this fact is surprising for some people or not, but epilepsy patients can be really sensitive when it comes to flickering lights, or, in other words, flashing! A few people may be subjected to seizures when they get exposed to very bright or flashing lights, and this condition is known as photosensitive epilepsy.

Some Drugs and Medication

Of course, unsubscribed medicines or prevented drugs can increase the risk of seizures! Always try to avoid taking medication without the permission of your doctor or any other trusted healthcare professional.

Causes of Epilepsy

Epilepsy can be a complex condition, especially because we cannot estimate a clear reason behind it, but there are always factors that can increase the risk, such as:

Brain Tumors

Since the main drive behind seizures is the activity of brain nerve cells, brain tumors can double the risk of having epilepsy. Conditions like cavernous and arteriovenous malformations can lead to seizures as they directly affect the formation of blood vessels inside the brain.

Head Trauma

Head traumas, which are usually caused by severe accidents like car accidents and any other traumatic injuries, can be the reason behind epilepsy.

Genetic Influence

Genetic influence plays a big role in the development of epilepsy, simply because there are types of epilepsy that run in families due to specific genes.


Illness in general, along with infectious diseases like AIDS, meningitis,viral encephalitis, and some parasitic infections, can be prime reasons for having epilepsy.

Prenatal Injury

Some babies before birth can be subjected to several conditions, including oxygen deficiencies or poor nutrition. As a result of that, they may face brain damage that may cause epilepsy in the future.

Developmental Disorders

Sometimes epilepsy can be attributed to other developmental disorders. For example, people with autism and ADHD are more likely to have epilepsy than other people, which means that maybe the same gene can hold one or two deficiencies at the same time.

Symptoms of Epilepsy

There are different types of epilepsy that lead to various types of seizures. Each seizure has different characteristics, depending on which part of the brain is affected. However, these are the most common symptoms of epilepsy:

  • Uncontrolled muscle jerking that usually occurs in arms and legs.
  • Repetitive movements that may include hand rubbing, eye blinking, and lip-smacking.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Muscle stiffness.
  • Staring into space, or, as we call it, a “staring spell”.
  • Changes in senses and emotions.

Patients may also experience mixed psychological effects that sometimes lead to anxiety, fear, and sudden deja vu!


Each person has a story to tell, but all people with epilepsy have something in common: they hold a huge lesson about bravery and persistence.

It is true that epilepsy comes with a diverse set of triggers, causes, and symptoms; still, our role is to educate people and be there for them whenever they need support.

We hope now that the question “What is epilepsy?” has already been answered.

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enhance accessibility and effective communication during your appointments
To enhance accessibility and effective communication during your appointments, we kindly request all deaf patients to download the P3 (Purple) mobile app. This app is a valuable tool that enables smooth and convenient consultations. Your healthcare provider is committed to ensuring your comfort and care, and using the P3 (Purple) mobile app will greatly contribute to that. This must be downloaded on your phone before your appointment date.
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enhance accessibility and effective communication during your appointments
enhance accessibility and effective communication during your appointments
Para mejorar la comunicación efectiva durante sus citas, solicitamos amablemente a todos los pacientes con discapacidad auditiva que descarguen la aplicación móvil P3 (púrpura). Esta aplicación es una herramienta valiosa que permite consultas fluidas y convenientes. Su proveedor de atención médica se compromete a garantizar su comodidad y atención, y el uso de la aplicación móvil P3 (púrpura) contribuirá en gran medida a lograrlo. Esto debe descargarse en su teléfono antes de la fecha de su cita. 
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