Imagine walking around the small shop on the corner of the neighbourhood to run errands. Then, you saw an unconscious person lying down with her body shaking on the ground. The curiosity of being a considerate being will first lead you to think what is happening and you can guess it could be a sign of seizures. In those brief moments, to have a sense of panic is totally normal but the best way to deal with this is to provide aid. First, make the person in a safe environment which includes cushioning their head from constant banging on the ground and away from objects nearby. Next, you should stay with the person until they are fully awake and alert. To make sure they are really awake and alert is simply by asking “are you alright” and “where you are now”. Such questions can help you understand the severity of the seizures and to decide if you need to call for medical assistance. You should definitely ask for help and medical assistance if the seizures last more than 5 minutes or the person does not seem to gain a sense of consciousness.
Antiepileptic drugs such as Keppra 500 mg are among the drugs prescribed by doctors to help people with epilepsy. Epilepsy or seizures is a result of sudden uncontrolled movement and changes in behaviour that is caused by the abnormal activity in the brain. The term seizures and epilepsy are often used interchangeably but do you know it actually has 2 different meanings? Seizures are a single occurrence whereas epilepsy is defined as 2 or more unprovoked seizures. In simple terms, people with epilepsy surely have seizures but those with seizures may or may not have epilepsy. This is because seizures may actually be caused by other conditions not relating to the brain such as low blood sugar and heart conditions.
Although many underlying diseases or medical conditions have been linked to epilepsy, the exact cause of the disease is still unknown. Geneticity is said to be one of the reasons a person could be having epilepsy. This is shown by 1 in 3 people with epilepsy does have family members diagnosed with epilepsy. Damages to the brain such as stroke, brain tumour, severe head injury, drug abuse, excessive alcohol, brain infection such as meningitis or encephalitis, congenital abnormalities or genetic conditions associated with brain malformations and lack of oxygen during birth can be reasons leading to epilepsy.
You probably wonder, what are the symptoms of epilepsy? This is especially true if you know someone or you yourself is affected by this condition. It is important to understand symptoms of epilepsy so that the person affected by this medical condition can get the treatment needed. Here are 5 symptoms of epilepsy:
1) Repeated seizures
2) Loss of consciousness
3) Unusual jerking movements
4) Unusual feeling, sensation and behaviours
5) Stopping activity, loss of expression, unresponsiveness and staring
Since it can be difficult to detect if a person is either just having seizures or indeed an epilepsy, patients need to be checked by a doctor for further evaluation. To help diagnose this medical condition, doctors usually ask questions regarding the characteristics of the seizures such as when it happened, if there is any activity done prior to the seizures, feelings before and after the seizures and many other questions. Taking some notes before meeting a doctor can help remember important points to be addressed to the doctor. If there is video recording of the person during the seizure, that would be the best evidence to show to the doctor. Doctors may also suggest electroencephalogram (EEG) test or brain scan to check for abnormality. It is worth noting that a person may have epilepsy and these tests may not show anything significant to support disease. In such cases, diagnosis is made based on symptoms alone.
Treatment can help most people with epilepsy to have few seizures and in some case, may even stop having seizures completely. Treatment includes antiepileptic drugs, surgery to remove part of the brain that cause the seizures, implantation of device under the skin to help control seizures and special diet known as ketogenic diet. 2 out of 3 people with seizures find that antiepileptic drugs work to reduce the severity and frequency of the symptoms. Ketogenic diet led to breaking down of protein in muscles that help suppresses seizure activity. Relaxation and supplements may help to control seizures but this is best discussed with doctors first. Last but not least, patient may want to spend time to understand the trigger behind the seizures. Triggers such as flashing or bright light should be avoided. Getting regular exercise and enough rest can goes a long way in managing epilepsy. Remember, patient with epilepsy is not the only who one suffers. People around the patients may be affected as well. Thus, keeping an open mind and honest conversation can provide support and understanding for both sides.
Also read – Dengue Prevention.