There are certain medical conditions for which proper care is not available to patients – this is simply because of lack of awareness. One of these is a neurological condition called epilepsy. There might be close to 12 million Indians affected by epilepsy. Approximately 14 in every 1000 people in India are prone to suffering from epilepsy, that too with a higher estimate for children and young adults therein. Even with these shocking figures, nearly 95% of the people with active epilepsy do not receive proper treatment.
What is epilepsy?
Earlier considered a psychological condition, epilepsy is now termed as a neurological disorder. It is characterized by sudden seizures or fits with jerky movements leading to unconsciousness. However, it may, at times occur alongside other psychiatric disorders like depression.
What causes epilepsy?
Epilepsy is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. When the electric signals that brain cells use to communicate with each other are affected, this can lead to epileptic fits.
Is there an epilepsy treatment?
There are multiple modes of treatment for epilepsy. Treatment can help reduce and even stop the occurrence of seizures in patients.
Anti Epileptic Drugs (AEDs) are the most common epilepsy treatment. About 70% of patients are able to control seizures with them. They do so by altering the chemical levels in your brain. The dosage of AEDs will be gradually increased by the doctor depending upon how the patient’s system responds to them. When the patient stops having seizures, the dosage could be gradually reduced by the doctor
It is not advisable to alter the dosage or stop medicines without consulting the doctor first. This may lead to the recurrence of seizures. It is also not advisable to take other medicines along with AEDs without first consulting the doctor.
Common side effects of such medication can be:
- swollen gums
- hair loss
2. Brain surgery
In certain cases, AEDs don’t show any effects. Another viable epilepsy treatment is brain surgery. If the seizures originate from a small specific area within the brain, the area in question is removed through surgery. There is a probability that seizures completely stop after surgery. In this surgery, the scalp is cut and an opening is created in the skull to take out the specific part. It takes a patient anything between a few weeks to a few months to recover after the surgery. The side effects could adversely affect the patient’s memory, mood, and vision.
However, such surgery can be expensive but essential. To protect your family from the financial stress, it is better to remain prepared and insure them with health insurance. You can check out the insurance plans available on Finserv MARKETS. The family health insurance plan on Finserv MARKETS provides cover for pre and post hospitalization, free health checkups, reinstatement benefits and much, much more, at costs starting from just Rs. 292 per month.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation is a small electronic device that is placed under the chest. The VNS is connected to a wire which reaches a nerve in the neck called the vagus nerve. The wire sends bouts of electricity to the nerve. This helps in modifying the electric signals in the brain to control seizures. Generally, a VNS won’t stop seizures entirely, but will make their occurrance less intense and less frequent. VNS has its own side effects too. They include a sore throat, coughing and hoarse voice. A VNS is battery operated, which lasts for a good 10 years, after which a procedure is performed for replacement.
A ketogenic diet, or a keto diet as it is popularly known these days, is not just a means to cut down your weight. It is believed to reduce seizures in children by changing levels of chemicals in their brains. This diet prescribes a higher consumption of fats and restricting carbs and proteins. This diet is advised for children in whom AEDs show no effects. This diet should be conducted under the supervision of a doctor and dietician.
Epilepsy is very much treatable, it just needs the right medical and psychological treatment. So, do your bit to raise epilepsy awareness. If anyone near and dear to you could be suffering, make sure they get proper treatment. You definitely don’t want this to befall your own family, but if it does, you’d better be financially prepared because the costs are prolonged. Insure your family with a comprehensive health insurance policy today. You can check out the Bajaj Allianz Family Health Insurance available on Finserv MARKETS to begin with. It offers benefits like pre and post hospitalization cover and free health checkups amongst others.
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