Living with Epilepsy and Being an Epilepsy Ally

living with epilepsyNovember is recognized as National Epilepsy Awareness Month. In 2015, the Epilepsy Foundation has a campaign focused on helping people live seizure free through a variety of treatment options.

Living with Epilepsy

Their Dare to Go the Distance campaign highlights the ways that people with epilepsy can live their lives to the fullest while striving to be seizure free. Here are some of our favorite tips.

Know yourself. Develop an understanding of how your body reacts stress or lack of sleep, and then adjust when you can to avoid a potential seizure.

Strive for more. One in three people with epilepsy don’t have control of their seizures, and even more who are on medication deal with side effects. But settling for these scenarios is not the only way to live with epilepsy.

Develop a relationship with a doctor. If you have a doctor you can trust, he or she can help you find alternatives to excessive side effects from medications.

Find the right treatment. There are more than 20 different types of epilepsy medications that work for different people and different seizures. Consult with your doctor to find what works for you.

Tap the local community. The Epilepsy Foundation offers chapters around the country that offer advice, support and resources for people with epilepsy and their families.

Being an Epilepsy Ally

If you have a loved one with epilepsy, or just want to be more informed about the condition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some valuable information about the different types of seizures.

As many as 10 percent of people have had a seizure, which means you might witness one. If this happens, the CDC recommends checking to see if the person has a medical ID bracelet, and following these steps:

  • Ease the person to the floor.
  • Turn the person gently onto one side. This will help the person breathe.
  • Clear the area around the person of anything hard or sharp. This can prevent injury.
  • Put something soft and flat, like a folded jacket, under his or her head.
  • Remove eyeglasses.
  • Loosen ties or anything around the neck that may make it hard to breathe.
  • Time the seizure. Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.

Call 9-1-1 if

  • The person has never had a seizure before.
  • The person has difficulty breathing or waking after the seizure.
  • The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
  • The person has another seizure soon after the first one.
  • The person is hurt during the seizure.
  • The seizure happens in water.
  • The person has a health condition like diabetes, heart disease, or is pregnant.
Sources: Epilepsy Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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