Living day-to-day life is always a journey. Learning to live a normal life with epilepsy can be a struggle, but with the right treatments and care it doesn't have to control your life.
Even if your treatments seem to be taking you nowhere, do not get discouraged. Epilepsy can be complex, so asking the right questions can help define what type of seizures you are having and take you to a new direction of discovering the many options you have to treat your disorder.
Know Your Triggers
Epilepsy affects people of all ages, races, and gender. It can originate from a range of things – birth defects in the structure of your brain, head injuries, or even strokes and tumors. Similar to the spectrum of the disorder, many different factors can come into play for one person with epilepsy that might not affect another.
There are many triggers out there that affect people with epilepsy. Recognizing them can help you specify what may cause a seizure.
- Lack of sleep or change in sleep habits
- Strenuous physical activity
- Stress-related mood changes
- Loss of breath or heightened breathing
- Physically bothered by flickering lights or strobe-like movements
Some people with epilepsy have a distinct, sometimes unpleasant, feeling that a seizure is coming. These early warnings are called "auras." They could be bodily sensations, disorientation with the outside world, or a difficulty in interacting with things around you. Knowing and recognizing your auras, should you have them, are also key to being prepared for an oncoming seizure.
Keep a Journal
The best way to know what triggers your seizures is to keep a detailed calendar and notes as they happen. This can be utilized not only to help you, but also your doctor and loved ones in preparation for future incidents.
Keep a record of how you feel mentally and physically before, during, and after a seizure. Talk to friends, family, or coworkers who might be around at the time of a seizure to help them understand triggers that you cannot see yourself.
Each case of epilepsy is different and varying combinations of symptoms can help further define your particular type of epilepsy. Over time you can begin to see patterns of what triggers are affecting your seizures. This helps to prepare you for a healthier future.
Lower Your Risk
Seizures can happen anywhere at anytime. With some basic precautions you can help yourself and others be prepared.
Minimize Stress. This is a good thing to achieve, not only for epilepsy, but also for all facets of life. If stress is a problem for you, find new ways to relieve the tension. Two common ways to relieve stress are meditation and yoga because of their relaxation techniques. Not only does yoga help with calming tension, but it's also a good way to stay fit while exercising your body and mind.
Sleep. Essential for all people, sleep is especially vital for those with epilepsy. Make sure to be well rested. Sleep disturbance may escalate the amount of seizures in certain epileptic circumstances. Keeping a record of your sleep patterns can help determine what sleep habits are right for you. If you feel that you may have a sleep disorder, contact your doctor. Many times sleep problems make it harder for an individual with epilepsy to minimize seizures or find treatments that work.