Tips for Epilepsy Awareness Month

November is epilepsy awareness month, and there are some things the average person should be aware of if they have family members or friends with epilepsy. 

Epilepsy is a dangerous condition to have, regardless of whatever age the person has. In about 60 percent of all epileptic patients a doctor gets, they cannot find a cause of the seizure. In the other 40 percent, there are common causes, such as genetic factors, head trauma, injury before birth, brain conditions and infectious diseases. 

Epilepsy can run in any family, and there’s a chance in every person that they might be born with epilepsy. It can also be caused by a change in medications that causes the cells to mutate. Anything from falls, gunshot wounds, car accidents or blows to the head can cause epilepsy to occur in almost anyone. There’s a chance that after the wound gets healed, that epilepsy might fade since it was brought on by trauma. That type of epilepsy is called post-traumatic epilepsy. Before birth, there can be outside factors such as oxygen deprivation, brain infections or very difficult labor.

What should one do when someone’s having a seizure? There are several different ways to help while someone’s having a seizure, as there are many different reasons why or how they may occur. Most seizures last for only a few minutes at most. Here’s what to do if someone near you is having a seizure:

  1. Ease said person to the floor slowly.
  2. Turn the person on their side to help airflow.
  3. Get every hard or sharp surface away from the area.
  4. Put something soft and flat under their head.
  5. Take off their glasses (if wearing any).
  6. Loosen ties or anything around their neck.
  7. If the seizure is more than 5 minutes, call 911 right away.


Do not:

  • Hold the person down or try and stop any movements.
  • Do not put anything in his/her mouth. That might injure their jaw or teeth.
  • Giving CPR is unnecessary since people usually breathe on their own soon after.
  • Giving food or water to the person before they are fully aware is a bad idea (it might make things worse).

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