One of the major concerns for those who suffer from epilepsy is how it will affect their day to day lives. A lot depends on the severity of the condition and how often you have seizures, as well as how you react to any medication you may have to take. A person who has just been diagnosed with epilepsy will probably be more anxious about their condition and the consequences than someone who has been living with it for a while and has come to terms with it.
The truth is that most people who have epilepsy live a full and fruitful life. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some hurdles to overcome but with the right support you should be able to handle this condition. There are plenty of support groups out there on a national and local level so the first thing you may like to consider is joining one of these. Especially in the early stages after diagnosis, it can empower you to know that you are not alone and it can also give friends and family some valuable support so they know how to react when you have a fit.
This is one area that can cause problems, at least initially – how to deal with a seizure when it happens. If you are out on your own and a member of the public comes to your aid they probably won’t realise that you are having a fit. You should, if you can, either wear a wrist band saying that you are epileptic or carry a card. These are often available from your doctor but can also now be bought online.
What to Do When Someone Has a Seizure
It can be very dramatic when someone has an epileptic seizure and many people find it difficult to deal with and panic. There are two main types of seizure called tonic-clonic and focal or partial.
Tonic-clonic seizure will see the person collapse onto the ground and lose consciousness. This may then be followed by jerking movements. You might notice a blue tinge around the mouth and there may be some loss of bladder control.
You should first of all protect the person from injury and cushion their head (that includes removing any dangerous objects that are nearby) and loosen any clothing such as ties.
You should not put anything between their teeth or restrain them in any way. You should also not try to give them something to eat or drink when you think the seizure has passed.
Partial seizures can be more difficult to spot but can include the person not being aware of their surroundings and they might also pick at their clothing or swallow continuously. In these circumstances, you should guide the person to somewhere safe, sit them down and avoid abrupt or alarming movements.
Should You Call an Ambulance?
It’s not always the case that the person needs to go to hospital if they have had a seizure. If you have never met the person before and you are uncertain whether they are injured or not then, of course, the safest option is to call an ambulance.