Removing misconceptions, public education on causes and triggers of recurrent seizures along with proper diagnosis, medical support and lifestyle modifications will help manage Epilepsy better according to experts.
A seizure is an abnormal excessive electrical discharge in the brain that disrupts normal brain functioning temporarily. When the seizures become recurrent, the condition is called as Epilepsy.
Dr Mudassar Kharadi, Epileptologist, Sahyadri Hospitals says that while removing the stigma and misconceptions associated with Epilepsy is important, it is also important to understand the causes and triggers.
Seizure triggers may include stress, missed medication, sleep deprivation and tiredness, alcohol, infections etc. Causes are different and may include genetic factors or other brain conditions like brain injury, stroke, infections or other neurological conditions.
Dr. Kharadi added that understanding epilepsy by both the patient and the caregiver is very important as incidences of seizures can cause a lot of concern to the family people around the patient at that time. The jerky movements of arms and legs, tongue bite, confusion state of the patient, dizziness can be scary for those who witness.
Correctly identifying a seizure can help keep the person safe and rule out other emergencies such as a stroke.
Dr Kharadi added that accurate diagnosis is a key to the treatment of epilepsy. Therefore information given to the doctor by the family members who witness the seizure is extremely crucial. Diagnosis may include neurological examination, blood tests, Electroencephalogram (EEG) and Video EEG ,MRI brain epilepsy protocol etc. The treatment generally includes medication in 70 to 80n% of patients.
Surgery is also an option for drug resistant epilepsy patients and when the seizures are originating from a small well defined area and if operated will not affect other vital functions of the brain.
Lifestyle modifications including having proper sleep, diet, exercise, keeping blood pressure, blood sugar in check, taking medicines on time can ensure a better quality life for those who have experienced recurrent seizures.
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