Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases in humans.
Epileptic seizures occur unexpectedly both for the patient and for those around him. During an attack, a person’s life usually depends on the actions of people nearby, the Public Health Center reports.
Epilepsy is a brain disease in which the work of nerve cells is disturbed, as a result of which a person has seizures.
In a healthy person, the brain constantly generates electrical impulses that pass through neurons (networks of nerve cells in the brain) and throughout the body through chemical conductors – neurotransmitters.
When a person has epilepsy, the electrical rhythms of the brain are disrupted, resulting in repeated seizures that lead to disturbances in behavior, consciousness, movements, and sensations.
Anyone can be diagnosed with epilepsy, susceptibility to the disease does not depend on age, race or gender.
As noted in the Center for Epilepsy, the development of epilepsy can occur as a result of genetic predisposition, as well as:
- head injuries, stroke or sclerosis, which lead to hypoxia – lack of oxygen in the brain;
- infections, in particular, brain abscess – a local accumulation of pus in the brain substance, caused by bacteria, fungi or protozoa;
- autoimmune diseases;
- developmental disorders of the child (congenital anomalies affecting the brain);
- metabolic disorders;
- tumors in the brain.
According to doctors, epilepsy cannot be cured, but about 70% of people with epilepsy can control the disease with medication.
Symptoms of epilepsy
Signs of the disease can be indicated by mental symptoms, in particular, the appearance of excessive anxiety, a feeling of deja vu or fear.
Doctors include the following as physical symptoms of an epileptic disease:
- lip biting, chewing movements, hand rubbing, finger movements;
- uncontrolled muscle movements, muscle spasms and loss of muscle tone;
- “staring into space” (when a person stares at something for a long time for unknown reasons);
- confusion, slowed thinking, and speech problems;
- deterioration of the sense organs: hearing, sight, taste, smell and sensations;
- upset stomach;
- sudden changes in body temperature;
- fast heartbeat or breathing.
“If you have seizures, see your family doctor. If necessary, he will refer you to a neurologist for further diagnosis. If possible, write down when you had the attack and what you were doing during it.”– are recommended in the CGZ.
Treatment for epilepsy may include anticonvulsant drugs, special diets, and surgery.
Prevention of epilepsy
One of the most effective ways to prevent epilepsy is to prevent head injuries, doctors say.
Prevention may also depend on what caused the person to receive it.
If the disease developed after a stroke, the best preventive method will be to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, you should monitor and prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, as well as give up alcohol and tobacco use.
“People with epilepsy are usually more likely to have other health problems: fractures, bruises, anxiety disorders, and depression.”– doctors note.
How to help patients with epilepsy
Before providing assistance, consider your own safety. Call the emergency medical team, as well as:
- record the time from the beginning to the end of an epileptic attack in a person;
- do not try to forcefully restrain the victim’s convulsive movements;
- put the victim on a flat surface, put soft things under his head to prevent injury;
- unbutton the victim’s clothes;
- turn it on its side to prevent saliva, blood, etc. from entering the upper respiratory tract;
- after the seizure stops, examine the victim – if he has not regained consciousness and is not breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
- provide constant supervision of the victim until the arrival of the emergency medical assistance team;
- if the victim’s condition worsens before the arrival of the emergency medical assistance team, call its dispatcher again.
What are the myths about epilepsy?
One of the common myths is that during an epileptic attack, a person can swallow his tongue. So a person can knock out his teeth or even break his jaw.
During a seizure, the victim should not put anything in the mouth, in particular, pour liquid or any medicine, doctors say.
A myth is also the possibility of restraining a person during an attack in the expectation that this will stop the convulsions.
Previously, we talked about how to get free drugs for epilepsy and mental disorders.
Read also: Even difficult stories are happy. What it’s like to live with epilepsy