10 early warning signs of a seizure

Seizures are a neurological phenomenon that affects many individuals. While they can occur without warning, some people experience early warning signs or pre-ictal symptoms before a seizure episode. Awareness of these signs can help individuals and their loved ones take precautionary measures and seek timely medical attention to manage the condition effectively and reduce the risk of seizure injury. So, here are ten early warning signs of seizures to be aware of.

Aura sensations
An aura is often described as a strange or unusual feeling that precedes a seizure. It can manifest as visual disturbances like flashing lights, strange smells, or a feeling of déjà vu. These sensations can serve as a signal that a seizure is imminent.

Mood changes
Sudden and unexplained mood swings or emotional changes can indicate an impending seizure. It may include feelings of anxiety, fear, or intense happiness that seem out of context with the current situation.

Cognitive disturbances
Difficulty with concentration, memory lapses, or feeling mentally “foggy” can be early indicators of an impending seizure. Individuals may struggle to find the right words or become confused during conversations.

Physical sensations
Some people experience physical sensations such as tingling, numbness, or a sensation of pins and needles in certain parts of the body before a seizure occurs. These sensations are often localized to one side of the body.

Behavioral changes
Pre-ictal symptoms can manifest as changes in behavior, including increased irritability, agitation, or an urge to engage in repetitive actions, such as hand-wringing.

Gastrointestinal distress
Nausea, stomach pain, or a sense of “butterflies” in the stomach can occur before a seizure episode. These gastrointestinal symptoms can be distressing and serve as a warning sign.

Some individuals experience severe headaches before a seizure. These headaches may be different from their typical headache patterns.

Sleep disturbances
Disrupted sleep patterns, such as insomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness, can be associated with pre-ictal symptoms. Seizures, particularly nocturnal ones, can disrupt regular sleep cycles.

Visual disturbances
Apart from auras, visual disturbances like blurred vision can occur as early warning signs before a seizure.

Urinary incontinence
Some individuals may experience urinary incontinence as a symptom, where they involuntarily lose control of their bladder before a seizure. Experiencing this symptom can be distressing and should be taken seriously.

It’s important to note that not everyone who experiences seizures will have pre-ictal symptoms, and the signs can vary widely from person to person.