Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder that is classified as recurrent, unprovoked seizures. This disorder affects both males and females of all ages and races. This is usually a lifelong condition disorder but several individuals can have normal lives if their condition is well controlled. Most children with epilepsy can take part in most sports and activities, or get a job when they are older.
What Causes Epilepsy?
The electric signals in the brain become twisted and there are at times abrupt bursts of electrical activity. In most cases, it is possible that it could be partly caused by your genes that affect how the brain works. Occasionally, epilepsy can be caused by damage to the brain such as damage from:
- A lack of oxygen during birth
- Brain infection or tumor
- A drug abuse
- A severe head injury
- A stroke
- An alcohol misuse
Signs and Symptoms of Epilepsy
The main symptom of Epilepsy is recurring seizures. However, if an individual experience one or more of the following symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention:
- Short blackouts
- A convulsion with no fever
- Sudden stiffness or falling for no apparent reason
- Temporary unresponsiveness to questions or instructions
- Sudden bouts of chewing without any clear reason
- Sudden attacks of blinking without apparent stimuli
- Repetitive movements that seem involuntary
- Temporarily seeming dazed and unable to communicate
- Anger or panic
- Fearfulness for no apparent reason
- Strange changes in senses such as touch, smell, and sound
- Recurrent fainting spells, during which they lose bowel, frequently followed by extreme tiredness
Risk Factors of Having Epilepsy
Certain factors may increase your risk of Epilepsy:
Age: The start of this condition is most common in children and older adults, but the condition may befall at any age.
Head injuries:Head injuries are accountable for various cases of Epilepsy.
Family history:If you have a family history of Epilepsy, you might be at an increased risk of developing this condition.
Stroke and other vascular diseases: Stroke and other blood vessel diseases can lead to brain damage that may cause Epilepsy.
Brain infections: Infections that cause inflammation in your spinal cord or brain can increase your risk.
Dementia: Dementia can increase the risk of Epilepsy in older adults.
Seizures in childhood:High temperatures in childhood may occasionally be linked with seizures. Children who have seizures because of high fevers usually won’t develop Epilepsy. The risk of this condition rises if a child has another nervous system condition or a family history of epilepsy.
You can learn how to manage your Epilepsy to feel better and have a more active and full life. Practice these self-management plans to better control your condition and overall health:
- Know about your condition
- Take your seizure medicines as prescribed
- Follow a well-balanced diet and keep a healthy weight
- Keep a record of your triggers to track patterns and learn how to avoid triggers
- Exercise regularly and safely each day
- Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night
- Don’t drink alcohol too much, use tobacco, or abuse other substances
- Practice ways to lower stress
- Talk to your doctor about health concerns
- Keep in touch with friends and family for support
- Keep other health conditions in check
- Use memory strategies to help with memory problems
- Get help for emotional problems
Treatment can help most people with Epilepsy:
- Surgery to eliminate a small portion of the brain that’s causing the seizures
- A special diet that can help control seizures
- A process to put a small electrical device inside the body that can help control seizures
Several people need treatment for life. However, you might be able to stop treatment if your condition disappears over time.
Medications for Epilepsy
- Valproic Acid