Ask an Educator: Epilepsy Diagnosis - Epilepsy Queensland

Ask an Educator

"How long does an epilepsy diagnosis take?"

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer for how long it will take to receive an epilepsy diagnosis. The time between your first seizure and getting an official epilepsy diagnosis from your doctor or neurologist can vary greatly from person to person.

For some, this length of time may be a number of weeks, but others could be waiting years before they receive a correct diagnosis.

This is because there are a lot of factors that come into play when diagnosing epilepsy, for example:

  • Certain seizure types have more recognisable symptoms/presentations than others i.e. tonic-clonic seizures versus absence seizures. It may be a while before you recognise what you are experiencing is a seizure.
  • The length of time between getting a referral for a neurologist appointment and waiting for an available appointment can vary depending on your local health system.
  • Doctors may want to undertake different tests to rule out other conditions that cause seizures before looking into the possibility of epilepsy.
  • There are multiple types of tests that help doctors reach an epilepsy diagnosis. You may only need an EEG to be diagnosed, or you might need a combination of tests including MRI, CT or PET Scans etc.
  • Epilepsy is a complex condition and may present similarly to other conditions, meaning it can take some time before a correct diagnosis is reached.

All of these factors, and more, can contribute to how long it can take to get a correct epilepsy diagnosis.

If you are in the middle of your epilepsy diagnosis journey and are feeling uncertain or overwhelmed, we would encourage you to reach out to our Living Well team. Our kind and compassionate team are here to support you throughout this time and beyond. Reach out via email at livingwell@epilepsyqueensland.com.au or phone 1300 852 853.

Epilepsy Queensland