Epilepsy is a brain triggered disorder that can result in the affected person having seizures or convulsions of the body. Such convulsions last about a few minutes and the person undergoing epileptic seizure might be unaware of what’s happening to him/her during those brief moments. They may recover and appear disoriented for a few minutes more.
Epilepsy can’t be cured but is treated through medicines called anticonvulsant drugs.
Epilepsy is a brain-related disorder that can cause the person to go through involuntary shaking of the body and the limbs. It is usually treated with drugs.
The chronic disorder that causes recurrent and unprovoked seizures is referred to as Epilepsy. A seizure is an impulsive and unexpected rush of activity in the brain. The reasons for the cause of epilepsy include head trauma, high fever, low blood sugar, and alcohol withdrawal. It is a neurological disorder and more than 3 million people in the United States have been affected by epilepsy. The chronic disorder is common not only in adults but even in young children and it has been observed that it occurs more in males. The disorder can merely be controlled by the use of various strategies as there is no cure for it till date.
Causes of epilepsy
Any illness that disturbs the usual form of neuron activity can lead to seizures. There are many possible causes of epilepsy. The 2 main types of seizures include partial/focal seizure and generalized seizure. The partial seizure would affect only one part of the brain. It is difficult to identify mild seizures. Further, stronger seizures are known to cause uncontrollable muscle twitches and spasms. At the time of a strong seizure, a patient can lose his consciousness. On the other hand, generalized seizures affect both parts (cerebral hemispheres) of the brain so their onset is not easily identifiable. Types of generalized seizures include tonic-clonic, absence or atonic etc. The other important fact is that epilepsy progresses because of the imbalance of neurotransmitters which are nerve-signalling chemicals and also due to an abnormality in the brain wiring.
Drugs used to treat epileptic seizures
Anticonvulsant drugs are mainly used to treat epileptic seizures. The type of treatment provided to patients mainly depends on factors like severity and frequency of the seizures. The other factors that are also taken into consideration for the type of treatment provided include medical history, overall health and the age of a person. A patient can feel better with seizure medication, an implant that works on the nerves, a special diet, and surgery.
To control epileptic seizures medications are the best option and to treat the brain disorder the right medication needs to be used. There are nearly 20 drugs available that are used for treating different types of epileptic seizures. The doctors provide medication only after proper review of the patient’s medical history and their lifestyle. Some of the medications that are made include the use of antiepileptic drugs and anti-seizure drugs. The faulty signalling of the brain is suppressed with these medications.
Important precautions you must take
Natural treatments can also be made use of for epilepsy as at times medications do not work well on some patients. Acupuncture, use of natural herbs and vitamins can also be used for treating the brain disorder.
Epilepsy is a relatively common disorder. Most cases of epilepsy can be controlled with a combination of drug therapy and a healthy lifestyle. In some cases, surgery may also be advised. Epilepsy affects not only the lifestyle of the patient but also that of their caregiver. Each person reacts to epilepsy in a different way and hence the type of care needed also varies from person to person. While some patients have few seizures and require care only when they're having a seizure others need round the clock care.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind if a loved one suffers from epilepsy.
Know what type of epilepsy you are dealing with.
Not all epileptic seizures are the same. Find out what type of seizures your loved one suffers from and what are the possible triggers associated with Involve yourself in their lifestyle.
Epilepsy should not be a reason for your loved one to lock themselves in a room to stay safe. Participate in activities with them of you feel the activity may be a safety risk if they were to have a seizure; for example - swimming.
Notice seizure triggers.
Often an epileptic patient may not remember the seizure after it has occurred. As their caregiver, keep a seizure diary to track their seizures and its related triggers. Look for patterns in the triggers to their epilepsy attacks.
Keep them safe during a seizure.
When experiencing a seizure, the patient will lose consciousness, experience muscle convulsions and may grit his teeth. If the person is standing, hold them so that they do not fall. If they are lying down, try turning them onto their side. Do not put anything into their mouth.
Take care of them after a seizure.
After the seizure, people are most likely to be confused, tired and have a headache. Check for injuries and keep them calm till medical help arrives. Loosen clothing around their neck and ensure that there is nothing inhibiting their breathing.
While someone who suffers from seizures often is likely to always have someone with them, others who have rare seizures may often venture out alone. In such cases, ensure that they always have medical identification on them. Also make sure that their friends, colleagues etc are aware of their medical condition.
Help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Staying active is essential for people with epilepsy. Avoid contact sports and pick low impact exercises like walking, running or swimming. Following a buddy system is essential when an epileptic person works out.