Since I didn’t post at all last week I am going to be writing two posts a day this week to cover everything I had planned on writing for last week. You’ll see the posts that were meant for last week have CATCH UP! At the beginning of them.
Many people have heard of epilepsy and know some basics but that’s it. They know that people have fits/seizures and state that strobe lights are something that triggers it but that is all. Yet 1 in 100 people have it and we don’t think to educate ourselves, I mean what would you do if someone started having a fit? Do you know?
Epilepsy awareness is important to me, my mother is epileptic and when I tell people that they come up with a list of things they think they know which is actually false. So today I am going to talk you through some basics of epilepsy, get rid of some of the falsities and hope to spread the awareness.
Some quick info.
- Epilepsy can start at any age but often begins during childhood.
- Some causes of epilepsy can be due to genetics inherited from your parents.
- It’s often not possible to identify a specific reason why someone develops the condition however…
- Epilepsy can be caused by a stroke, head injury, brain tumor or severe trauma. For example my mom witnessed something awful at a young age and that triggered her epilepsy.
- Epilepsy is normally diagnosed after you have more than one seizure as many people have a one-off epileptic seizure during their lifetime.
- The severity of seizures can vary: Some people simply experience an odd feeling with no loss of awareness, while others lose consciousness and have convulsions (uncontrollable shaking of the body).
Myths about epilepsy.
- You can swallow your tongue during a seizure.
It is physically impossible to swallow your tongue.
- You should force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure.
Absolutely not! That’s a good way to chip teeth, puncture gums, and be bit or even break someone’s jaw. The correct first aid is simple. Gently roll the person onto their left side and put something soft under his or head for protection from injury.
- You should restrain someone having a seizure.
Never use restraint! The seizure will run its course, and you cannot stop it. Simple first aid to prevent injury is best.
- Epilepsy is contagious.
You can’t catch epilepsy from another person. Period.
- People with epilepsy are disabled and can’t work.
- Epilepsy is curable.
Epilepsy CANNOT be cured. Epilepsy is a chronic medical problem that for many people can be successfully treated. Unfortunately, treatment doesn’t work for everyone.
- Epilepsy is rare and there aren’t many people who have it.
Well as I stated before, 1 in 100 people suffer from epilepsy.
- You can’t die from epilepsy.
Unfortunately you can, prolong epilepsy and years of having the illness can result in deaths. So it is something to take very serious.
- People with epilepsy are physically limited in what they can do.
How to handle someone having a seizure.
- Move them away from anything that could cause injury. (i.e. walls, obstacles)
- Cushion their head if they’re on the ground.
- Loosen any tight clothing around their neck – such as a collar or tie, to aid breathing.
- When their convulsions stop, turn them onto their left side and make sure there head is in a comfortable position to make breathing easy.
- Stay with them and talk to them calmly until they have recovered.
- Note the time the seizure starts and finishes.
- Don’t put anything in the person’s mouth, including your fingers. They may bite their tongue, but this will heal. Putting an object in their mouth could cause more damage.
- As the person is coming round, they may be confused, so try to comfort them.
- Only call an ambulance if:
- it’s the first time someone has had a seizure
- the seizure lasts for more than five minutes
- the person doesn’t regain full consciousness, or has a series of seizures without regaining consciousness
Thank you for reading. If you would like to find out more about epilepsy, please follow the links below.
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