Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures due to disruptions to normal nerve activity in the brain. Because epilepsy is a spectrum disorder, signs and symptoms can vary and range from mild to debilitating. The main sign of epilepsy is repeated seizures over a period of time.
At Dignity Health Southern California, we offer a full complement of diagnostic services for neurological conditions at our hospitals and imaging centers. To learn more about epilepsy symptoms in Southern California, use our online Find a Doctor tool and make an appointment today.
Signs & Symptoms of Epileptic Seizures
The signs and symptoms of seizures may depend on which part of the brain is involved. There are three types of seizures: tonic-clonic, absence, and focal. Seizure symptoms may include:
- Change in emotions or mood prior to a seizure
- Feeling strange or uneasy before a seizure
- Facial flushing
- Visual or auditory hallucinations
- Smelling odors that aren’t there
- Inability to speak during the seizure
- Crawling or tingling feeling of the skin
- Periods of staring into space
- Abnormal head movements
- Muscle rigidity
Diagnosing Epilepsy at Dignity Health Southern California
If you have been experiencing seizures, the neurology team at Dignity Health Southern California can help you find out if they are due to epilepsy. To diagnose epilepsy, your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam and take your medical history, including any family history of epilepsy.
Your doctor will ask you for details about previous seizure episodes including how often they happen, what you experience, and if you’ve noticed anything that triggers them. Your doctor may also order tests, including:
- Imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Lumbar puncture to examine your cerebrospinal fluid
- Blood tests
- Electroencephalogram (EEG), a non-invasive test that records the electrical activity of your brain
- Portable EEG, which records your brain activity for several days
Once you have been diagnosed with epilepsy, your doctor at Dignity Health Southern California can help create a personalized treatment plan. The right treatment may be able to reduce the severity and frequency of your seizures and improve your quality of life. Rely on your care team to do everything we can to help improve your epilepsy symptoms. Dignity Health offers advanced diagnostics for epilepsy signs and symptoms in Southern California.