Weighted Blanket for Seizures and Epilepsy
What is a Seizure Disorder?
Having a seizure is not the same as having a seizure disorder. While a seizure is a single occurrence caused by uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, a seizure disorder is a medical condition that is chronic and unprovoked. Seizure disorder is a general term that is often used in place of epilepsy.
A seizure or a convulsion is just a symptom of a seizure disorder. Abnormal signals from the brain can affect how the body functions. Anyone can develop a seizure disorder and it affects both males and females of different races, ethnic backgrounds, and ages. Seizure disorders usually begin during early childhood or late adulthood.
What are the causes of Seizure Disorder?
A seizure disorder is usually hereditary. Many others are caused by congenital defects or toxic exposure in the environment, like lead poisoning. These disorders are most likely to develop in individuals who have immune-system problems, neurological conditions, or psychiatric disorders.
How is a Seizure Disorder diagnosed?
Having one or two unprovoked seizures means that a person has a seizure disorder. Unlike other seizures which are triggered by environmental factors, a person having an unprovoked seizure is most likely to have metabolic imbalances in the body or may have inherited this through genetics.
What are the different types of seizures associated with Seizure Disorder?
There are two types of seizures which can be linked to having a Seizure Disorder: simple partial seizures and generalized seizures.
Partial Seizures are also known as focal seizures and they start on a specific part of the brain and spread to other areas. The severity may vary from person to person. Some even affect the part of the brain that is responsible for consciousness. This kind of seizure is called a complex partial seizure.
Individuals with partial seizures have symptoms such as sensory changes, vision changes, dizziness, and involuntary muscle twitching.
Generalized Seizures happen when both sides of the brain are affected. It can be difficult to tell where these types of seizures begin which makes treating them more difficult. There are subcategories that fall under generalized seizures - absence seizures, myoclonic seizures, tonic-clonic seizures, atonic seizures, and clonic seizures.
- Absence seizures - when these occur, the person experiencing them has an out of body experience and can stare off vacantly as if they’re daydreaming. These can start as early as age 4 until the age of 14. Usually these are hard to diagnose because they are unnoticeable.
- Myoclonic seizures - these are uncontrolled, sudden and brief jerks and twitches in the arms and legs. This can happen to both sides of the body.
- Tonic-clonic seizures - can go for as long as 20 minutes. These are very severe and can cause serious effects such as loss of bladder control and consciousness aside from uncontrolled body movements.
- Atonic seizures - these can cause a loss of muscle control which may lead to sudden collapsing or falling down. They’re also known as drop seizures.
- Clonic seizures - the areas usually affected with clonic seizures are the neck, face, and arms. These are characterized by jerky muscle movements which are rhythmic or repeated.
What are the symptoms of a Seizure Disorder?
Symptoms of a seizure disorder can vary from person to person. Not all people experience all of the symptoms. These depend on which part of the brain is affected. Common symptoms may include but are not limited to the following:
- Jerky movements
- Twitching limbs
- Jaw and teeth clenching
- Brief stop in breathing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Mood swings
- Abnormal eye movements
- Drooling or frothing at the mouth
- Shaking of the entire body
- Falling or dropping
- Uncontrolled sounds like grunting
- Muscle spasms
- Fear or anxiety
What are the treatments for Seizure Disorder?
If symptoms aren’t treated, seizures (depending on their severity) can lead to brain damage and other neurological complications. If the seizure is unprovoked, then it is best to know the seizure disorder it is classified under to treat the condition. Here are some of the treatments that can be done to address symptoms of Seizure Disorder:
- Medications. Doctors can prescribe antiepileptic drugs which are very effective in treating seizure disorder. There are as many as 20 different kinds of antiepileptic drugs on the market and the dosage can depend on different factors such as a person’s lifestyle and age, how frequently their seizures occur.
- Surgery. Some seizure disorders are so severe that they can’t be controlled by medications. With surgery, symptoms can be significantly reduced. However, it is important to note that this takes an amount of risk. These risks can include cognitive problems as well as changes in behavior and personality.
- Diet. Seizure disorder sufferers are recommended to do the ketogenic diet that involves eating high fat and low carbohydrates. A study was conducted that children who did the the ketogenic diet had lesser seizures and those who continued to do it remain seizure-free.
How does a weighted blanket help with Seizure Disorder?
A weighted blanket by Miran is the perfect therapy aid to provide comfort while reducing movement to induce feelings of calm and relaxation. For people with Seizure Disorder, anxiety and stress can make it difficult to go to sleep.
Usually when seizures occur, a person can feel physically exhausted and require relaxation. A weighted blanket is designed with glass microbeads covered in polyester coating giving it the added weight for deep pressure stimulation therapy. The extra weight help the body produce melatonin, which helps people afflicted with Seizure Disorder to fall asleep easier.
A weighted blanket makes for a cost-effective and non-invasive form of therapy for a good quality and restful sleep.