This is a cause for alarm. Recently, a Facebook user posted about the diagnosis of Focal Seizure to her daughter with too much gadget use as the main reason for the diagnosis. Lets breakdown Focal Seizures and find out if it is caused by excessive use of gadgets.
Seizures are actually caused by too much and unregulated electrical signals from the nerve cells in our brain. Now, focal seizures happen when the seizures only happen in a certain area of the brain and not in its entirety. If the seizure is related to the right side of the brain, the left part of the body will be affected and vice versa.
What are the Causes of Focal or Partial Seizures
There are multiple reasons as to why focal seizures happen; these include lifestyle, behaviours, and unknown medical conditions. What is most important is identifying the triggers of the seizures so they can be prevented. Some triggers may be controlled while others are not.
Seizures may be related to caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sleep deprivation, drugs, stress, and environment. Environmental factors may take in the form of flashing lights from TV or video games. Take note however that people who are sensitive to light are more likely to experience generalised tonic-clonic seizures instead of the focal seizures.
Health conditions like head trauma, brain tumor, prenatal brain damage, vascular and progressive brain diseases like stroke, blood sugar levels that are low, withdrawal from drugs and infections are also linked to focal seizures.
Seizures can also be inherited from our ancestors.
Signals of a Seizure Attack
It is best to monitor the triggers that precede a seizure attack. The warning signs are referred to as an aura. Some examples are anxiety, dizziness, unusual ocular (visual) images like wavy lines, spots, and flashing lights.
Other symptoms are increased heart rate and pulse, sweating, nausea, pupils that are dilated, eyes that are moving from one side to another, abdominal discomfort, flushed face, repetitive movements like lip smacking, staring spells, hallucinations and unusual sensations like numbness and the crawling sensation like ants on the skin.
Memory lapses, mood and emotion changes, inability to talk for a certain period and dj vu are also signals.
Identifying the triggers is a good start. Observe and identify the things or factors that cause the seizures. Talking to a doctor will help in knowing the preventive measures and the possible health causes that are causing the seizures. Medication can help but this must be taken after they have been prescribed by the doctor. Never self-medicate.
While there are studies that claim a direct relationship between gadgets and focal seizures, it is best to conduct local studies to determine whether environmental factors like smartphones and tablets have a direct link to Filipino children.
Gadgets and Children
While gadgets do provide stimulating activities for children like puzzles and videos, too much preoccupation with them may affect their social skills because of its solitary mode of entertaining an individual. Physical development can also be affected due to the lack of physical activities that are necessary for the development of a child.
Too much attachment to gadgets can cause tantrums and agitation when the gadget is taken away. Eye strain, radiation exposure, and poor posture are also potential effects.
The use of gadgets is not a substitute for effective parenting. A growing child needs an attentive parent who will monitor and take care of his or her needs.
Be reminded that gadgets are not parents.
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