According to World Health Organization (WHO), about 50 million people have epilepsy across the world, out of which 80 percent of people are living in developing countries. Although epilepsy is treatable, three-fourths of affected people in developing countries do not receive the required treatment. In India, about 10 million people suffer from seizures associated with epilepsy.
Every year, November 17th is celebrated as National Epilepsy Day in India. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, the theme of National Epilepsy Awareness Month (NEAM) 2022 is “There is no NEAM without ME”.
Epilepsy affects the Central Nervous System of our brain. It is characterized by recurrent ‘seizures’ or fits. The seizures are caused as a result of sudden, excessive electrical discharges in the neurons (brain cells). It can affect people of any age group.
- Sudden twitching (uncontrollable jerking motions of the arms and legs)
- Loss of consciousness
- Tingling sensation (feeling of pricking pins or needles) in arms or legs
- Stiffness in muscles of arms or legs or face
- Brain damage from prenatal and perinatal injury
- Congenital abnormalities
- Brain Infections
- Stroke and Brain Tumors
- Head Injury/ Accidents
- A prolonged high fever during childhood
Tips to manage seizures
- Do not panic.
- Do not try to restrain the person during a seizure.
- Remove sharp objects or other harmful objects from the person with seizures.
- Loosen any tight neckwear.
- Gently roll the person onto one side so that any fluid in the mouth can safely come out.
- Put something soft under his or her head.
- Do not put anything into the person’s mouth for the fear of swallowing the tongue.
- Be with the person until medical help arrives.
- Allow the person to rest or sleep.
Once the patient is diagnosed with epilepsy, he/she shouldn’t delay the treatment procedure. Timely treatment will prevent further deterioration of the condition. They should take medicines on time. Don’t discontinue the treatment without a doctor’s advice. Stop alcohol intake permanently. Consult your doctor if you need to take any other medicines along with the epilepsy treatment to avoid any kind of adverse reaction or side effects.