Specialists at NewYork-Presbyterian are well-versed in understanding the many types of symptoms associated with epilepsy. Symptoms and warning signs may vary depending upon the type of seizure and may include:

  • Staring, or staring with rapid eye blinking
  • Jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Stiffening of the body
  • Sudden confusion or loss of consciousness
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Falling suddenly for no apparent reason
  • Sleepiness and irritability upon waking in the morning
  • Nodding the head
  • Any sudden, unexplained change in behavior, including frequent déjà vu, visual or auditory hallucination, or difficulty speaking or understanding words

During a seizure, a person's lips may turn blue, and breathing may not be normal. The movements are often followed by a period of sleep or disorientation.

Seizures may be caused by a number of problems. It is therefore important to be fully evaluated by a physician, preferably one associated with a Level 4 Comprehensive Epilepsy Center such as those at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.