It is possible for a person to have a seizure and not have epilepsy. Seizures can happen for many reasons. For example, a child may experience seizures if he or she has a fever.
There are also other conditions that can mimic the symptoms of epilepsy. These include strokes and a condition called syncope, in which a person faints.
A confirmed epilepsy diagnosis requires at least two witnessed seizures in the person being examined.
As it is extremely rare to have a seizure while at the doctor’s office, an epilepsy diagnosis will come from symptoms relayed to the doctor from the patient. Eyewitness accounts are also highly valuable to diagnosing epilepsy as a person having a seizure can rarely account for what happened during the event.
Your doctor will also ask if there is a history of epilepsy or seizures in your family, and he or she will check your overall health to determine if the seizures can be explained by other conditions.
There are many tests doctors can do to help verify whether a person is suffering from epilepsy or another condition.
Medically Reviewed by: Jennifer Monti, MD
Published: Jul 20, 2011
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.