You might always make efforts to protect you and your loved ones from diseases, whether it is little things like keeping yourself hydrated or major decisions like getting health insurance for your family. In case you haven’t decided on which health insurance plan to go for, you can check out platforms like Finserv MARKETS. Bajaj Allianz health insurance plans are comprehensive, customized and very affordable. You can also avail several value-added benefits like cashless facility at over 6500+ hospitals, swift claim settlements and free medical check-ups.
However, at times, even with all possible preventive measures and contingency plans, some diseases still strike the best of us.
Epilepsy is one such disease. 80% of the people affected by epilepsy in the world are from developed countries. In India, there are an estimated 12 million people with epilepsy.1 And yet, awareness about epilepsy and epilepsy treatment is very less. On the occasion of National Epilepsy Day, observed on November 17 every year, let’s make an effort to understand epilepsy and epilepsy causes.
What is epilepsy?
It is a chronic neurological disorder in which one gets recurrent seizures or fits. They are caused by sudden and intense electrical discharges in the neurons. Seizures can be non-epileptic as well.
What are the symptoms of epilepsy?
- Sudden twitching (involuntary jerking movements) in the limbs
- Losing consciousness
- Feeling like needles are being pricked into the limbs
- Stiffness in muscles of limbs or face
- Person may appear to be not breathing and may turn blue
- Person may cry, and then stiffen for a few moments and then show rhythmic movements of the limbs
- Person may be confused for some time after regaining consciousness
- If only the part of the brain controlling the legs is involved, only then the legs will have jerky movements
- Repetitive blinking
- Person may keep staring blankly
What are some epilepsy causes?
Epilepsy occurs when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Brain cells communicate with the help of electric signals in a specific manner. In the case of epilepsy, these signals become abnormal and cause an electric storm that leads to seizures. These storms may be in a specific part of the brain or may be generalized.
The major epilepsy causes include
- Low oxygen level during birth
- Head injuries
- Brain tumors
- Genetic conditions that lead to brain injury
- Infections like meningitis and encephalitis
- Brain damage of any kind
- High fever which is prolonged
- Abnormal levels of sodium or sugar
What are the causes of seizures in epileptic patients?
- Missing medications
- Heavy consumption of alcohol
- Consumption of drugs
- Lack of sleep
- Other medication that interferes with seizure medication
What to do when someone has a seizure?
- Don’t panic
- Don’t try to control the person
- Don’t keep sharp objects within their reach
- Loosen their neckwear if it is tight
- Roll them gently onto a side
- Do not give them anything to eat
- Let them sleep
- Stay by them till medical help reaches
What should patients keep in mind?
- Do not delay treatment. Delay will lead to the condition becoming worse
- Take medicines regularly even if you are not experiencing seizures
- Do not stop taking medicines without the doctor’s advice
- If you have to take any other medicines, consult the doctor for possible side effects or complications
- Don’t drink alcohol, it can cause a seizure
- Do not consume drugs
What is epilepsy treatment?
Epilepsy is something that stays with the patient for their lifetime in a lot of cases. Medicines help to control the occurrence of seizures. A diet could also be prescribed with medicines. Antiepileptic Drugs (AEDs) control electrical activity in the brain to prevent seizures. If one set of AEDs does not work, another type of AEDs could be prescribed.
For those whose seizures cannot be controlled by medication, surgery is also an option. Brain surgery or neurosurgery can be conducted if the patient fulfills the required criteria.
Epilepsy treatment is ideally a combination of medical, educational, psychological, and social measures provided by a team of doctors and experts.
If someone in your family or someone you know has epilepsy, ensure that they get the best care and treatment from a well aware set of family and friends. Disorders like epilepsy come with a lot of financial stress for the family. Make sure you preempt the possibility of such situations and get your family a health insurance early on. If you haven’t yet, you might want to check out Bajaj Allianz Family Health Insurance, available on Finserv MARKETS, which gives you benefits like regular free health checkups and pre and post hospitalization cover.
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