Difference Between Seizure and Passing Out

Seizures are periods of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain that can cause changes in vision, unusual sensory experiences, changes in body movement, problems with thinking and reasoning. Passing out is the sudden loss of consciousness caused by brain malfunction. Both Seizure and Passing Out are exceptionally similar and indistinguishable, yet they are distinguishable.

Seizure vs Passing Out

The main difference between Seizure and Passing Out is that a seizure can result from any number of causes, including trauma to the head, infection, poisoning, drug withdrawal, or epilepsy, whereas, Passing out can often result from a lack of blood flow to the brain.

Seizure vs Passing Out

The occurrence of seizures tends to increase at certain times of day, such as after a meal or during physical activity. People who have seizures may experience more frequent seizures at this time of day, resulting in an increased risk for injury. Moreover, sometimes people with seizures tend to lose consciousness for short periods.

Passing out can lead to injury and death if you remain immobile for too long. However, full consciousness is usually regained within a few seconds to minutes. If someone you know experiences symptoms that may be associated with passing out, seek medical evaluation immediately because it can be death-dealing.

Comparison Table Between Seizure and Passing Out

Parameters of ComparisonSeizure Passing Out
DefinitionSeizures can result from any number of causes including trauma to the head, infection, poisoning, drug withdrawal.Passing out is the sudden loss of consciousness caused by brain malfunction, not physical exhaustion.
RootThey can be triggered by emotional stress, alcohol lack of sleep, illness, fever, brain damage, and genetics. They can be triggered by dehydration, drowsiness, low blood sugar levels, illness, low salt levels, and fever.
ManifestationFull-body jerks, stiffening of the arms and legs, and loss of awareness dazed or confused. Dizziness, blurred vision, unconsciousness, and unsteady footing.
RecuperationSeizures generally last longer than a few minutes and happen sporadically Passing out generally, last only a few minutes and happen sporadically
MenacingIt can lead to menacing.It will not lead to menacing.

What is Seizure?

A seizure is a moment where the brain loses its ability to tell the muscles what it wants them to do. In most cases, a person will shake or convulse during a seizure, which can make it very difficult for that person to breathe and talk. It can also cause them to fall and injure themselves. Typical signs of seizure include sudden onset of symptoms, full-body jerks, stiffening of the arms and legs, and loss of awareness dazed or confused followed by unconsciousness. Seizures can also be accompanied by visual and auditory hallucinations or illusions.

Seizures generally last longer than a few minutes and happen sporadically. They can be triggered by several factors, including emotional stress, alcohol or drug use, lack of sleep, illness, fever, brain damage, and genetics. Seizures are periods of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain that can cause changes in vision, unusual sensory experiences, changes in body movement, problems with thinking and reasoning or consciousness.

Seizures can affect people of any age, background, ethnicities, and gender. The rate of seizures increases gradually with age. Childhood Seizures are a specific form of epilepsy that manifests itself in children from 1-5 years of age, where epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder in children. Many people carry out daily routines without having any awareness of seizure-like symptoms.

What is Passing Out?

Passing out is the sudden loss of consciousness caused by brain malfunction, not physical exhaustion. It’s characterized by an inability to focus on anything, dizziness, blurred vision, and unsteady footing. Becoming over-heated may lead to the feeling that person is about to pass out or that you’re giving into a sense of lightheadedness.

During a Passing out, full consciousness is usually regained within a few seconds to minutes. Since the brain is not functioning properly, a person should not stand up or try to walk around until their senses are back. Try to keep the head raised and wait until it’s sure he or she can stand on their own. However, a person will feel a little dizzy or off-balance and may see things that aren’t there.

Passing out can be caused by anything that causes the blood pressure to drop rapidly, such as drowsiness, dehydration, or low salt levels in your body. Passing out is a sign that something is wrong, so it’s important to figure out what’s causing the blood pressure to drop. Most often, it’s dehydration; sometimes, it’s low blood sugar levels.

Main Differences Between Seizure and Passing Out

  1. Seizures can result from any number of causes, including trauma to the head, infection, poisoning, drug withdrawal, whereas, Passing out is the sudden loss of consciousness caused by brain malfunction, not physical exhaustion.
  2. Seizures can be triggered by emotional stress, alcohol, lack of sleep, illness, fever, brain damage, and genetics, whereas, Passing out can be triggered by dehydration, drowsiness, low blood sugar levels, illness, low salt levels, and fever.
  3. Seizures manifestation includes full-body jerks, stiffening of the arms and legs, and loss of awareness dazed or confusion, whereas, Passing out manifestation includes dizziness, blurred vision, unconsciousness, and unsteady footing.
  4. Seizures generally last longer than a few minutes and happen sporadically, whereas, Passing out generally lasts only a few minutes and happens sporadically.
  5. Seizures can lead to menacing, whereas, Passing out will not lead to menacing.

Conclusion

Sometimes people with seizures tend to lose consciousness for short periods. This is one difference between passing out and a seizure. In general, however, your consciousness will be intact if you can immediately recognize what’s happening and give a verbal description of the event. Then, it is often recognized as Passing Out. However, if your mouth is too dry to speak, and you cannot move your arms or legs and don’t respond, or if you are unconscious for more than 5 minutes with hallucinations, illusion, and body jerks, then it can be the manifestation of seizures.

Any person who passes out or has a seizure should be evaluated by a doctor immediately because the cause of them may be serious and need to be treated right away. 

References

  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/amcrimlr1&section=26
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00085006.1977.11091475
  3. https://search.proquest.com/openview/6fe50800ffe89ef8003237bef732274c/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1820903
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