For patients with epilepsy and their loved ones, the central nervous system disorder and its associated symptoms and medications are a part of life that they think about and deal with regularly, but those who have never trained for or learned about epilepsy may find themselves frighteningly unprepared if they witness or experience a seizure. Everyone should have some understanding about epilepsy because no one can be sure that they will never encounter it. In fact, anyone may develop epilepsy at any point in their life.
November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to educate yourself about the disorder. Here are some of the basic facts that the professionals at Health & Wellmobile and other medical facilities believe everyone should know.
Seizures are the most obvious symptom of epilepsy, but other signs may include confusion or a loss of awareness or consciousness. People with epilepsy tend to be consistent in their symptoms, which helps doctors better prescribe treatment. Particularly alarming seizure patterns include durations of over 5 minutes and multiple seizures, one after the other.
Seizures can put sufferers in a dangerous situation depending on where they are and what they’re doing at the time. For example, you can be seriously injured or even killed if you have a seizure while you are in the bathtub or behind the wheel of a vehicle. One of the most common seizure hazards is falling and receiving a head wound or other injury.
As mentioned, anyone can develop epilepsy, but some people are more likely to than others. Children and people over the age of 60 are at greater risk, as are people who have had a stroke, head injury, or relative with epilepsy.
Most cases of epilepsy are treated with medication, but others require surgery. Medication will reduce the amount and intensity of seizures and may even stop them entirely. In other cases, nerve therapy and changes in diets can make a huge difference.
There are many factors involved in each seizure, some of which have to do with the type and location of the seizure. In general, you should stay with the person having the seizure, stay calm, and get them the help they need when the seizure is over. During the seizure, you should move anything that might hurt the person. You may also need to put something soft under their head. You should never try to restrain someone who is having a seizure or put anything in their mouth.
Take advantage of Epilepsy Awareness Month to do your research and learn more about what you should and shouldn’t do to help someone. You have the potential to make a huge difference in the event of a seizure.