Seizures: Know the Types, Causes, and Symptoms


Seizures: Know the Types, Causes, and Symptoms

A seizure occurs when there are changes in the electrical activity in the brain. Some types of seizures, the frequent ones, are known as epilepsy. Some people may experience seizures from birth or childhood, generally up to the age of 17, while others may develop them in their later phase of life.

What Happens During Seizures?

When it happens, various effects can be seen in the body, from rapid jerking of hands and legs to seizures all over the body. Depending on the stage of seizure and its severity, some people may experience frequent symptoms while others may experience light to no symptoms at all. Some types of seizures can be dangerous as they may cause injuries to the patient. So, it is essential to seek treatment for seizures and follow the doctor's advice to control the situation.  Thankfully, seizures are possible to treat.

Types of Seizures

The various types of seizures are   discussed below for broader understanding:

Focal Onset Seizures

Commonly, focal onset seizures are known as partial seizures as such seizures occur only in one part of the brain. Despite its partial occurrence, the effects are widespread. One may or may not lose consciousness in focal seizures. The Focal onset seizures are of two types:

  1. Focal Aware Seizures - These are often termed as auras or warning seizures. This is because the person remains conscious and can feel the effects of seizures in the body. 
  2. Focal Impaired-awareness Seizures - Such types of seizures affect a larger part of the brain and can make the person unconscious. It may last up to a few minutes, and the person may not be able to remember what happened. It may also lead to loss of movement, speech, or hearing during the event.

General Seizures

Contrary to focal seizures, generalised seizures affect both sides of the brain and may have a larger impact. Generalised seizures have been classified into below types:

  • Tonic: In such types of seizures, the muscles of the body get stiffed
  • Clonic: Clonic seizures may last up to a few minutes and may also lead to loss of consciousness. It causes abnormal jerking of limbs.
  • Tonic-clonic: As the name suggests, it is a combination of tonic and clonic seizures, where symptoms are combined as discussed above.
  • Absence: It is also known as petit mal seizures. In this situation, the person may stare at a point for a few seconds or frequently blink their eyes.
  • Myoclonic: Myoclonic may be a type of generalised or focal seizure. It occurs for a few seconds and leads to sudden muscle spasms. 
  • Atonic: In atonic seizures, the person may fall due to sudden seizures felt in the head and the body, leading to jerking of the body and nodding of the head. It may last up to 15 seconds. 

Epileptic Seizures

Epilepsy and seizures are two terms that you may get confused about. In simple terms, epilepsy is a type of seizure. During epileptic seizures, the person may experience frequent and recurrent seizures that may be unprovoked. Epilepsy is not so uncommon, and 1 out of 26 people may suffer from epilepsy. However, proper medical treatment is important to cure the condition or keep the situation under control.

Febrile seizures

Usually, children may suffer from febrile seizures. Well, it is harmless and ends within a few minutes. Febrile seizures may occur due to infections or vaccinations. Make sure to consult a doctor if your child experiences febrile seizures.

Stages of Seizures

There are broadly three stages of seizures:

  • Prodrome - This stage can occur days or hours before the onset of a seizure. During the Prodrome stage, the seizure does not begin.
  • Ictal - The ictal stage refers to the phase when the first symptom of a seizure occurs to the end of the seizure.
  • Postictal - This stage of seizure is the recovery phase when the seizure effects end.

What Causes Seizures?

One may wonder what exactly causes a seizure. Well, the known seizure causes are as follows:

  • A brain injury during childbirth
  • Alcohol discontinuation
  • Meningitis, brain infection
  • A brain irregularity since birth
  • Imbalance of electrolyte
  • Choking
  • Fever
  • Epilepsy
  • Substance use or withdrawal
  • An electric shock
  • Brain tumour
  • Head injury
  • Head stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar

Apart from the aforementioned seizure causes, certain causes of seizures can remain unknown, especially in children. It is best to let your doctor conduct the diagnosis to reach a conclusion.

What are the Symptoms of Seizures?

Seizure symptoms can be multiple and not everyone may experience the same effects. Depending on the type of seizure and the stage, the symptoms may vary. It may include:

  • Mood changes
  • Feeling of fear
  • Vision change
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiousness
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Headache
  • Sensations in the body
  • Jerking of hands or legs
  • Deja vu

When someone is experiencing seizures, the following activities may be noticed in the patient:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Falling
  • Clenching of teeth
  • Biting of tongue
  • Uncontrollable muscle spasm 
  • Sudden and rapid eye movement
  • Frothing in the mouth
  • Making noises like grunting
  • Loss of bladder movement control
  • Temporary mental confusion 
  • Mood changes from anxiety and anxiousness to fear and a feeling of crying

Health Effects of Seizures

The effect of seizures depends on the severity of seizure symptoms in a person. Broadly, the following may be the health impact of seizures:

Physical Injury

Certain types of seizures may cause the person to fall on the ground leading to a head injury or other body parts’ injury


Seizures can be unforeseen and can occur anytime. In case you are driving, a seizure attack can lead to accidents. Also, if a seizure occurs during swimming, one may even drown. So, accidents may be a serious problem for people suffering from severe seizures.

Complications during Pregnancy

Women suffering from epilepsy or seizure disorder may find pregnancy complications. This is because seizures can affect the life inside, and the anti-seizure medications may not be good for the baby.

Mental Effects

Sometimes, seizure disorder takes a toll on mental health. Since experiencing such incidents can be quite disturbing and depressive for the patient, one’s mental health is at stake always. It is important to make the person feel comfortable and not guilty of whatever happens during the seizure attack. 

Treatment of seizures can involve medication, surgery, diet changes and so on. Sometimes, the surgery or medication can be costly and heavy on your pocket. To avoid such a situation, you may invest in a health insurance plan that covers seizures and related treatment costs. 

Final Word

Seizures can be severe, mild, or even unnoticeable. It depends on the type of seizure and its impact on the person. If you suffer from seizure disorder, it is highly advised to not neglect the situation and seek medical attention immediately. With proper medical care, the situation may be cured or controlled to a great extent.

In your journey or fighting such conditions, Care Health Insurance is there with you. If you want to protect your finances during a medical emergency, you can pick a health plan of your choice, and let us take care of the medical expenses.

>> Also Read: Best Health Insurance for Expensive Surgeries


The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

View Our Editorial Policy


+91 verified
Please enter a valid mobile number
Please enter a valid Full Name
I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions
Please select terms and conditions
Get updates on WhatsApp

Articles By Category

Health Insurance Articles
Family Family
Senior Citizens Senior Citizens
Maternity Maternity
Surgery Surgery
Heart Heart
Tax & Investments Tax & Investments
Lifestyle Lifestyle
Awareness Days Awareness Days
Child Care Child Care
Money Saving Tips Money Saving Tips
Festive Days Festive Days
Covid-19 Covid-19
Travel Insurance Articles
International International
Student Student
Travel Tips Travel Tips
Visa Visa
Passport Passport
Insurance Guide
Health Health
Travel Travel
Reach out to us
Whatsapp Chat 8860402452



Chat with Us

Please Select Chat Option ×
Buy New policy To explore and buy a new policy
Existing policy enquiry for assistance with your existing policy