If I have any of these symptoms
How will the doctor know if I am developing epilepsy?
This can be relatively easy or very difficult. If your seizures are the “grand mal” type, the determination is usually straightforward. It very much depends on an accurate description of the event by someone who has witnessed it, as often the person experiencing the seizure cannot remember the seizure. It is uncommon for the doctor to actually see the seizure unless they are coming very frequently. Your doctor will do some tests, most specifically a brain wave test (EEG – see below) to see if there is evidence for an underlying excitable area in the brain that might be responsible for the seizures.
When the symptoms are less obvious or more subtle, the determination that they are seizures is much more difficult. The sensitivity of the doctor is very important. The doctor must listen carefully to a description of the events, usually from a witness (for example, a spouse, parent, brother or sister, coworker, friend), and have the possibility of epilepsy in mind. Then, more testing will be in order (see Brain wave testing).