A detailed medical history is the most important part of diagnosing
epilepsy. Try to give as much information about
your seizures as you can. If you do not remember what happened, ask anyone who
saw the seizure to describe what he or she saw.
These questions can help the doctor evaluate the
Have you ever had seizures
How often do the seizures occur?
seizures occur at a certain time of day?
Does anything seem to
trigger the seizures?
Do you notice a strange smell or taste,
flashing lights or hallucinations, or an unexplained feeling of fear or anxiety
before the seizures begin?
What physical changes take place during
the seizures? Do the seizures affect your entire body? Only one side of the
body? Only the face muscles?
Are you able to hear and respond to
things around you during the seizures, or do the seizures alter your level of
awareness or consciousness?
How long do the seizures
How do you feel after the seizure? Confused? Tired? Do you
remember having the seizures?
The doctor will also ask about past events that might put you or your
child at higher risk for epilepsy:
Is there a history of seizures or epilepsy in
Have you or your child had a head injury in the last
Do you or your child have a history of stroke, brain
tumor, infection in or around the brain (meningitis or encephalitis), or
abnormal blood vessels in the brain?
Have you or your child been
exposed to any toxic fumes, contaminated foods, lead, or other
Were there any problems during pregnancy or during your
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.