Epilepsy affects almost 3 million people in the United States. It can occur at any age. It is often misunderstood and can play havoc on all family members. Living with someone who has epilepsy requires knowledge of the condition and patience and support for the person who has it. What is epilepsy and how can you help someone with it? Take a look at the following information.
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the nervous system and usually results in seizures. A seizure occurs when there a is sudden burst of electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can take on many forms from a blank stare to uncontrolled movement of the body. The person with epilepsy may have a “funny feeling” before the attack. Sometimes it happens without warning. Treatment may include but its not limited to medication, surgery, and a special diet called the Ketogenic diet. Regardless of the type or treatment of seizures, people with epilepsy and their families and can still live a normal healthy lifestyle by following some simple guidelines.
Join a support group. Parents need someone they can talk to that have been through the same dilemma. The support group can offer seminars, insurance information, job information, and safety information.
Learn first-aid for seizures. All too often, someone who witnesses a seizure does not know the proper technique for handling a seizure. The most important rule, though, is to remain calm.
Stay active. The more active a person with epilepsy, the better the chances are for him to live a normal and healthy life. Regular exercise should be a part of anyone’s daily activity. A person with epilepsy can participate in dance, sports, and other activities of interest. Make sure that the activity is safe before you begin. Play it safe. Use head gear when playing contact sports, bike riding or roller skating. Always swim with a buddy. Your buddy should know first-aid for seizures.
Keep it safe at home. Leave bathroom and bedroom doors unlocked. If a seizure occurs in one of these places, it will be easier to get to the person who having the attack. To prevent falls in the shower, use a shower or tub seat with a safety strap. To prevent injury on the floor and on furniture use heavy padding under carpets and place padding on sharp corners of furniture.
People with epilepsy may be able to drive. it is important to check with your state’s DMV requirements for obtaining a license. Most states require that you have been seizure free for two years. It is also possible to obtain employment even in high risk jobs such as a police officer, firefighter, and construction worker. Your support group should have information on employment opportunities.
If you or someone you know has epilepsy, it is very important to learn as much information as possible about the condition. Remember it is not a disease and it can be treated if handled properly.