Temporal lobe epilepsy is a condition characterised by seizures that occur in either the right or left temporal lobe and in rare cases, both lobes. Unlike grand mal seizures, temporal lobe seizures occur in the part of the brain that controls emotions and short term memory. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy since a person suffering from it should seek medical attention.
Before a Seizure
Auras are smaller seizures that often occur before a larger seizure occurs. In general, they do not cause you to lose consciousness and there are no outward signs of a seizure to the observer. The symptoms of an aura can vary from person to person, aura to aura; however, there are a few common signs. You may notice an unreasonable feeling of fear that comes over you for no reason. Others experience a feeling of déjà vu, the sense that you have experienced the current situation before, or jamais vu, the feeling that the current situation is completely unique. Another common sensation is the onset of unusual smells and tastes. Or you may experience a sense of vertigo which is a strange sensation of movement.
During a Seizure
Once a temporal lobe seizure occurs, there are outward signs that others will be able to recognise. When seizures occur, they generally last anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. If they last longer than five minutes, immediate medical attention is needed. Just like the symptoms of an aura may vary, so will the signs of a seizure. Commonly, you will lose the knowledge of where you are. This can be evident to the observer because you will likely stare off into space not focusing on any given thing. You may also smack your lips or chew and swallow a lot. Or you may being picking at the air with your fingers or use other unusual finger motions. This usually occurs in the left arm if your temporal lobe epilepsy is in your right lobe.
After a Seizure
After you have suffered a seizure, the symptoms are not over. Because of the loss of awareness of what is happening during the seizure, you will likely feel a few minutes of confusion as you try to figure out what happened. You may find it is hard to speak during this time. You most likely will not be able to remember what happened for the last few minutes and have no memory that a seizure occurred.