Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder causing abnormal firing of nerve cells in the brain.  The illness causes the brain to experience seizures.  These seizures may affect thinking, consciousness or muscle activity in any or all parts of the body.  Seizures are most often controlled by taking medication regularly.

When parts of the brain receive a burst of abnormal electrical signals, this can temporarily interrup normal brain function and result in a seizure.

Many different things can cause epilepsy including:
  • – An imbalance of nerve-signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters
  • – Tumors
  • – Strokes
  • – Brain damage from illness or injury
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Epilepsy is a condition that has to be diagnosed by a doctor, so consider making an appointment if you have some/all of these warning signs:

  • – Staring
  • – Jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • – Stiffening of the body
  • – Loss of consciousness
  • – Breathing problems or breathing stops
  • – Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • – Falling suddenly for no apparent reason, especially when associated with loss of consciousness
  • – Not responding to noise or words for brief periods
  • – Appearing confused or in a haze
  • – Nodding the head rhythmically, when associated with loss of awareness or even loss of consciousness
  • – Periods of rapid eye blinking and staring

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You should call 911 if:

  • – The person has never had a seizure before.
  • – The person has difficulty breathing or waking after the seizure.
  • – The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
  • – The person has another seizure soon after the first one.
  • – The person is hurt during the seizure.
  • – The seizure happens in water.
  • – The person has a health condition like diabetes, heart disease, or is pregnant.

 

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  • – Take your medications as directed, and never change your dosage without the direction of a doctor.
  • – Make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep each night, as a lack of sleep can trigger seizures
  • – Wear a medic alert bracelet to let emergency personnel know you have Epilepsy
  • – Exercise to help improve your health.

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    • – One regular visit with your doctor a year

    Visit with a Neurologist within 3 months IF hospitalized or if two or more emergency room encounters for epilepsy within 90 days)

If you need additional resources to help manage your Epilepsy, contact our Healthcare Navigator Nurses at (insert phone number)

You can also visit the Epilepsy Foundation’s website for more information at https://www.epilepsy.com/