Seizure vs Passing Out: Difference and Comparison

Seizures are periods of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain that can cause changes in vision, unusual sensory experiences, changes in body movement, and 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.

Key Takeaways

  1. Seizures involve abnormal electrical activity in the brain while passing out results from a temporary loss of consciousness.
  2. Seizures can manifest in various forms, whereas passing out causes a person to collapse.
  3. Seizures may require ongoing treatment while passing out resolves with proper rest and hydration.

Seizure vs Passing Out

A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain that can cause changes in behaviour, movements, or consciousness. Passing out is a brief loss of consciousness due to a temporary drop in blood flow to the brain. Passing out is a brief and harmless event, unlike seizures.

Seizure vs Passing Out
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Seizures tend to increase at certain times of the 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 of 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 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

Parameters of ComparisonSeizurePassing 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 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 when 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, making it very difficult 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.

Visual and auditory hallucinations or illusions can also accompany seizures.

Seizures last longer than a few minutes and happen sporadically. Several factors, including emotional stress, alcohol or drug use, lack of sleep, illness, fever, brain damage, and genetics, can trigger them.

Seizures are periods of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain that can cause changes in vision, unusual sensory experiences, changes in body movement, and problems with thinking and reasoning or consciousness.

Seizures can affect people of any age, background, ethnicity, 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.

seizure

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 overheated 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 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 figuring out what’s causing the blood pressure to drop is important. 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, and drug withdrawal. 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. Passing out can be triggered by dehydration, drowsiness, low blood sugar levels, illness, low and low salt levels, and fever.
  3. Seizure manifestation includes full-body jerks, stiffening of the arms and legs, and loss of awareness, dazed or confused. Passing-out manifestation includes dizziness, blurred vision, unconsciousness, and unsteady footing.
  4. Seizures last longer than a few minutes and happen sporadically, whereas, Passing out lasts only a few minutes and happens sporadically.
  5. Seizures can lead to menacing, whereas, Passing out will not lead to menacing.
Difference Between Seizure and Passing Out
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

Last Updated : 18 June, 2023

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