Featured Image Caption: Epilepsy Common Triggers
There are about 3.4 million people in the United States who have active epilepsy, which is about 1.2% of the country’s population.
The fourth most common neurological disorder, epilepsy can cause a number of health problems and is characterized by unpredictable seizures. Seizures happen when the electrical activity in an individual’s brain is disrupted, which gets in the way of brain cells communicating with one another.
Seizures can be quite dangerous because of their unprovoked nature. They can cause car crashes or lead individuals to suffer serious injury in the course of having a seizure.
According to the CDC, people who have had two seizures or more might be diagnosed with epilepsy by their doctor. If you have a condition that makes your risk of seizures higher or if you’ve been diagnosed with epilepsy, it’s important to learn how to prevent seizures.
1. Avoid Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can increase a person’s risk of seizures. For this reason, it is recommended that people with epilepsy abstain from alcohol. It’s possible that not drinking alcohol could help to prevent future epileptical episodes.
If you suffer from an alcohol misuse disorder, you will want to talk to your doctor or another medical professional about how you can safely stop drinking.
2. Take Your Medication as Your Doctor Prescribed
There are a number of different types of epilepsy treatment. Your doctor might prescribe you medication that is designed to help prevent seizures. You should always take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribes it and you should never stop taking the medicine without the approval of your doctor, even if it seems like your epilepsy is getting better.
Medication can help to control seizures. If you skip your doses, it raises your risk for having uncontrolled seizures. You might even experience withdrawal seizures if you don’t take your medication when you’re supposed to, and taking too much of the medication can also lead to negative side effects including seizures.
One medicine that is sometimes prescribed for epilepsy is gabapentin, which also goes by the names Neurontin and Gralise. You can Buy Neurontin here.
3. Avoid Misusing Substances
If you have any issues with misusing substances, whether legal or illegal, you should talk to a medical professional. Avoiding this type of misuse is an important part of your seizure management plan.
4. Maintain a Healthy Sleep Schedule
Short-term sleep deprivation, as well as tiredness, are both considered seizure triggers. This means that you can help to prevent seizures by having a regular sleep schedule. Create a regular sleep schedule for yourself by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
5. Learn to Manage Stress
Seizures can be triggered by stress. If you learn to manage your stress, it can help to lower your risk. Some of the things you can do to help manage your stress include regular exercise, having healthy sleep hygiene, and taking time in the day to relax.
6. Eat Consistent Meals
Another key aspect of seizure control is to eat consistent meals. This is particularly important for people who have diabetes. If you skip a meal, it can cause hypoglycemia which can trigger seizures. Eating a healthy diet is also essential.
7. Stay Away From Flashing Lights
A small percentage of people with epilepsy have a form of the disorder known as photosensitive epilepsy. This means that an individual’s seizures might be triggered by contrasting patterns of lights or flashing lights. If you have this type of epilepsy, exposure to lights could lead to a seizure right away.
Some people might have seizures triggered by video games, too. If you have this form of epilepsy and you are exposed to patterns or flashing lights, you will want to cover one or both of your eyes with your hand immediately.
8. Protect Yourself From Head Injuries
Even people who don’t have epilepsy can have seizures as a result of head injuries. The Epilepsy Foundation states that a person who has a seizure after a head injury has double the risk of having a second seizure.
Someone who already has epilepsy might also have a seizure triggered by a head injury.
When biking, playing contact sports, or skating, you’ll want to wear a helmet. You can also discuss stability exercises with a health care professional to help reduce your risk of falling.
9. Avoid Video Games and Reduce Computer and TV Use
Watching TV, using the computer, and playing video games can overstimulate the senses and lead to seizures. If you have epilepsy, you will want to reduce the amount of time doing these activities.
10. Know Your Personal Triggers
If you experience seizures, it’s a good idea to keep track of their occurrences as well as their triggers. This can help you see patterns emerge so that you can avoid future episodes.
Some of the most common triggers for people who have epilepsy include:
- Not taking medication in the way it was prescribed
- Recreational drugs and alcohol
- Flickering or flashing lights
- Not sleeping well and feeling tired
- Missing meals
- Monthly periods
- Having an illness that leads to a high temperature
Keep a journal with you to help write down what you ate, how you slept, and other factors when you have a seizure. You can then start to understand what might make you more likely to have a seizure.
Understanding Epilepsy Can Help You Prevent Seizures
If an adult has a seizure that lasts longer than five minutes or is injured during a seizure, you should call 911. You should also always seek emergency medical attention if a child has a seizure.
The most important thing to do if a loved one is having a seizure is to remain calm. You can then place a cushion or a pillow under their head or lay them on their side. Move surrounding objects and furniture out of the way to help prevent injuries.
During a seizure, stay with your loved one until it has subsided.
When you understand the types of seizures and the common triggers for these episodes, it can help you prevent them altogether.
Did you find this article about how to prevent seizures helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for all things health and fitness!