Epilepsy is a scary condition for people who are new to it. In most cases, the victim is not aware that they are experiencing seizures. This condition occurs when the brain has an extreme electric activity which disrupts its normal functioning. People experience various forms of seizures.
The causes of this condition are also not the same. In some people, they are born with it while in others, it develops at a later stage. This can be caused by an injury in the brain, infections such as meningitis, a tumor or stroke. Seizures can put you at risk of getting a head injury from falling.
Today, we focus on epilepsy in detail to help people living with it understand it better and implement safe practices when they are in public or at home. Find out more!
How to cope with epilepsy
Know the symptoms
Most people who experience seizures start by getting some sensations beforehand. It can begin through a headache or a weird taste in your mouth. You may also experience body stiffness, confusion, fear or sleepiness. You may also get a convulsion from a seizure.
The categories of seizures include partial, complex focal, secondary and generalized seizures. This differs in how they develop in the brain. For instance, partial seizures stem from a part of the brain and the spread to other regions.
Complex seizures affect the broad region of the brain. In the case of generalized seizure, it affects both sides leading to unconsciousness, jerky movements, and rigidity. Recognizing the common symptoms that lead to your seizures can help you control it before it happens.
Identify common triggers
Though the cause may not be known, you should be aware of some common triggers. For instance, flickering lights can make you experience seizures. Fatigue and stress are also unhealthy for epileptic patients. Avoid uncomfortable environments and do not overwork yourself.
Alcohol is also a trigger that interferes with the normal functioning of your brain. Epilepsy can be severe especially in young ones such as teenagers who consume alcohol. Get teen alcohol treatment to prevent addiction and curb seizure episodes.
Establish a response plan
A response plan is essential when you know you are prone to experiencing seizures. In your plan, you should include important names and contacts of people who can help you during emergencies such as a doctor or a family member.
Write down the type of seizures you experience and how often they manifest themselves. Don’t forget to give details of the medications that you usually take and the form of administration. Include other forms of treatment that you undertake. Bring your plan with you everywhere you go so that you can get help in case of an emergency in public. You can also make use of a seizure app in your smartphone.
Find the right medication
Doctors usually administer some medicines to control seizures. Some people react to seizure medications differently due to diverse causes. Therefore, you can get the right medication for your body through experimentation.
Antiepileptic drugs are effective in controlling most seizures. Ensure that you take your medication consistently. Form a routine of taking drugs or get someone to help you monitor your intake of medicines to avoid forgetting a dose. Let your doctor aware of any side effects such as fatigue caused by medication.
Consider other treatment options
Vagus nerve stimulation is a form of treatment that is also used to control seizures. This stimulation sends electrical impulses to your brain through the nerves in your neck. A doctor can implant a battery beneath the skin. Through programming, the battery transmits these impulses to the brain after a short while.
Use a wristband that contains a magnet to generate electrical stimulation when you start experiencing symptoms of a seizure. Beware that this method may not be effective in all epileptic cases.
There is also the surgical option. This can be effective in a case where the brain is causing the seizures. A surgical procedure can get rid of parts that cause the condition. It can only be removed if the region of your brain does not interfere with key functions like eyesight and speech. A doctor can implant electrodes in your brain before conducting the procedure to identify the source and evaluate if it is safe to remove it.
Adjust your diet
You need a ketogenic diet to reduce the occurrence of seizures. This works effectively in young ones who are not responding to medicines. The diet includes taking foods that have minimal carbohydrates and a lot of fats. It allows your body to convert the fat into energy in place of carbs. A friend or family member should supervise your diet and monitor any side effects from it.
Makes some adjustments at home
Your home should be a safe place that should accommodate your condition. Prepare your home for any emergencies to prevent you from head injuries if a seizure occurs. For instance, you can place fire alarms in different places in the home or cushioned flooring to keep your head safe if you fall.
Ensure that there are no rough edges on your furniture so that you don’t harm yourself. Replace the materials in your furniture with resistant ones to prevent fires if you start feeling symptoms when cooking.
Your bed should be close to the ground to avoid rolling over and getting an injury from falling. Replace an ordinary pillow with a safety pillow that contains air holes. This can keep you away from suffocating in your sleep.
Get a microwave for your kitchen so that you don’t have to cook for long. This can prevent you from a fire through cooking. You can also place a monitor in your bathroom that lets someone listen in when you are in the shower.
A lot of myths exist regarding epilepsy. Living with epilepsy should not take away your confidence and prevent you from enjoying the pleasures in life. Start by understanding your condition and taking the necessary safety precautions to cope with the condition. You can do it!