The highlight of epilepsy treatment includes addressing the underlying cause and avoiding the triggering factors
If epilepsy is caused by an infection, is treated. Surgical removal of a tumor may help to control epilepsy in some individuals.
Anti-epileptic medicines, carbamazepine, phenytoin, valproic acid are provided depending on the kind of convulsion. Hence the dosage needs to be adjusted periodically. In underdeveloped countries, the WHO recommends the use of Phenobarbital for partial and tonic clonic seizure. Side effects of the drug is another factor that is always considered when a drug is administered.
The response to a drug varies with each individual. Some seizures respond well to certain drugs and respond poorly to others. An epilepsy that does not respond to drugs is called refractory epilepsy. This condition may be treated, in some, by surgically removing the abnormal cells in the brain that are responsible for the seizures.
In some patients, implanting vagal nerve stimulators in the chest may help to control the frequency of seizures.
Children with epilepsy are sometimes placed on a special diet, such as a ketogenic diet, to help control or prevent the seizures.
Wearing medical alert jewellery cautions the patients and helps to obtain immediate treatment.
In the developing countries, there are 35 million people who are suffering from epilepsy, of whom 85%receive no treatment at all. As a result of this they experience seizures-related morbidity and are victims of stigma and discrimination. Untreated epilepsy induces a lot of human suffering and creates a heavy burden economically. The governments of these countries must ensure that effective treatment is meted out for all.
If you suffer from Epilepsy
- Don't forget to take your medicines regularly.
- Have periodical medical checkups.
- Keep an identity card with you while traveling.
- Before taking any new treatment, tell your doctor about your epilepsy.
What to do after an attack of Epilepsy?
- If a seizure occurs, give suitable emergency first- aid immediately.
- Protect the person from injury. Do not attempt to force a hard object like a spoon or a rod between the teeth, as you may cause more damage than what you are trying to prevent.
- Clear the area of furniture or other objects that may cause injury from falls during the seizure.
- Do not attempt to restrain or hold the person down during the seizure.
- Protect from inhalation of vomit or mucus by turning the person onto the side and if possible keep the head down.
- Turn the person on to his side while he or she sleeps after the seizure is over.
- If the person having seizures stops breathing, turn him to the side in order to keep the airway of mouth open and prevent the tongue from obstructing the airway.
- If there is any injury resulting from a fall following fits, appropriate treatment should be accorded.
Do's and Doníts for the Onlooker
- Don't try to stop the fit.
- Don't move the patient.
- Don't force anything into the mouth during a seizure.
- Do allow enough air circulation.
- Turn the patient to his/her side to prevent swallowing the vomit.
- Note the movements and changes to report to the doctor.
- Call the doctor if the convulsion lasts longer.
- Change the attitude that you are an epileptic and can't lead a normal life. You are a normal person who can drive and work.
- Take your medicines regularly.
- Avoid stress and sleep well.
- Famous people who suffered from epilepsy - (http://www.epilepsiemuseum.de/alt/body_prominenteen.html)