Living your day-to-day life can be challenging enough, but
living with epilepsy can add another layer of obstacles. You can overcome those
obstacles by paying attention to your epilepsy symptoms and triggers.
Ask yourself questions about your seizures: What triggers
them? How do they feel? What behaviors decrease the frequency of the seizures? The
answers can lead to valuable insights and help you manage your condition.
Know Your Triggers
Epilepsy affects people of all ages, races, and gender. No
single cause for epilepsy is known. It can originate from a range of causes,
including birth defects in the structure of the brain, head injuries, and
strokes and tumors. Epilepsy is known as a spectrum disorder. This means many different
factors can contribute to epilepsy in one person that might not affect another.
Recognizing the triggers can help you figure out what’s causing
a seizure. Common triggers include:
- lack of sleep or change in sleep habits
- strenuous physical activity
- stress-related mood changes
- loss of breath or heightened breathing
- flickering lights or strobe-like movements
Some people with epilepsy have a distinct, sometimes
unpleasant, feeling that a seizure is coming. These early warnings are called
auras. They could be bodily sensations, disorientation with the outside world,
or a difficulty in interacting with things around you. If you have auras, knowing
and recognizing them can help you prepare for an oncoming seizure.
Keep a Journal
The best way to know what triggers your seizures is to keep
a detailed calendar and notes as they happen. Not only will this help you, but it
can also help your doctor and loves ones prepare for future incidents.
Keep a record of how you feel mentally and physically
before, during, and after a seizure. Talk to friends, family, or coworkers who
might be around at the time of a seizure. This will help them understand
triggers that you can’t see yourself.
Each case of epilepsy is different. Different combinations
of symptoms can help define your specific type of epilepsy. Over time you can
begin to see patterns in the triggers that affect your seizures. This will help
prepare you for a healthier future.
Lower Your Risk
Seizures can happen anywhere at any time. With some basic
precautions, you can prepare yourself and others.
Lowering your stress level is good for all facets of your
life, not just for epilepsy. If stress is a problem for you, find new ways to
relieve the tension. Two common ways to relieve stress are meditation and yoga. Both
use relaxation techniques to help clear your mind and ease tension. Yoga
is also a great way to stay fit.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Though sleep is essential for everyone, it’s especially
vital for people with epilepsy. Try to create conditions that help you get
enough rest, such as:
- going to sleep at the same time every night
- eliminating noises
- staying off electronics an hour before bedtime
Sleep disturbance may escalate the amount of seizures in
certain situations. Keeping a record of your sleep patterns can help determine the
sleep habits that are right for you. If you feel that you may have a sleep
disorder, contact your doctor. Many times, sleep problems make it harder for an
individual with epilepsy to minimize seizures or find treatments that work.
Epilepsy can be a challenging and disorienting condition to
live with, but it doesn’t have to rule your life. Educating yourself on your
personal symptoms and triggers can benefit you in a number of ways. By
anticipating your seizures, you can help prepare yourself and those around you
for situations in which you’ll need assistance to stay safe. Also, knowing more
about your triggers can help you avoid seizures. Leading a healthy and
satisfying life with epilepsy is possible when you learn how to manage your